Blog What is the Church?

It’s significant to understand and establish what the church is. I can’t afford to miss this critical truth because my eternal destination (heaven or hell) depends on knowing this answer.

Christ is the head of the Church (Colossians 1:15-23), and His Gospel defines how local churches are to teach their congregations. Anything outside this truth doesn’t align with God’s word and is a false religion.

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed many people are leaving the church and sharing several reasons for their decision to exit.

Some of those circumstances deal with actual abuse caused by people in the church.

But most of their reasons center themselves on rejecting scriptures they refuse to accept as God’s truth. They want to cast out scriptures that are hard to adhere to and replace them with social, political, and world ideologies. These people called it a deconstruction of the faith and gave birth to “Progressive Christianity,” a dangerous outlook on the bible.

Church Abuse

Church abuse is hard to swallow because the church isn’t supposed to become abusive. But many cause harm, showing the world a hypocritical view of Christianity.

But in the book of Revelation, Christ unveiled judgment against churches that don’t follow His Deity (Revelation 2, 3). Only two of the seven churches listed are favorable in His eyes (Revelation 2:8-11 3:7-13). Jesus called them into repentance for the other five, or they will face eternal consequences for their evil deeds (Revelation 2:1-7 2:12-17 2:18-29 3:1-6 3:14-22).

What are the common abuses associated with the Church?

One of the most exposed misconducts is sexual abuse and child molestation. These are horrific and despicable abuses. They cause severe physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pain that takes years to heal or no healing at all. This isn’t comfortable to discuss but is necessary to acknowledge. To sweep it under the rug causes more damage.

Recently, the Southern Baptist Convention directed Guidepost Solutions to investigate sexual abuse spanned two decades. Guidepost released its full report on the matter, including a course of action that recommended correcting and preventing this unacceptable abuse. I’ve included a link to access their report at the end of this post.

Other abuses are corporal punishment, leadership abuse of power, and belittling members. These also cause members to flee from the Church.

The Truth Behind Abuse

How can “so-called Christians” of a church abuse one of its members?

The answer fits into two distinct categories. One of those deals with sinfulness, and the other derives from evildoers.

Sin is the reason why people become abusive. This isn’t making an excuse for abusing others. No, we are held accountable for our unconfessed sinful actions (2 Corinthians 5:10). Remember, God is watching, and Christ observes how we conduct ourselves within the Church.

Temptations are strong, and when I succumb to them, then sin emerges. This explains why members of the church do harm to others. This behavior fits in with the sinfulness category. Again, this isn’t an excuse for abusing others.

The church must conduct a thorough investigation. This search for the truth must include a third-party resource, which prevents a biased review of the facts.

It’s the church’s responsibility to take action when one of its members, regardless of their status in the church (pastor, elders, trusted servants, or other members), is found responsible for the abuse. This action must be swift and the abuser removed from their position in the Church.

Not everyone attending or involved with the Church receives salvation.

Evildoers show up at Church. This truth dates back to Christ’s days, and after His ascension back into heaven, the Apostles had to deal with many false teachers. Remember, Satan disguises himself as light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The devil is persistent in his works to keep humanity separated from God.

God exposes evildoers who use the church as a platform for Lucifer. One of the most tragic examples is Jim Jones, who created the Peoples Temple in the 1970s. Jones led hundreds of men, women, and children to commit suicide. Jim used the bible and twisted the truth.

Sadly, many churches aren’t faithful to the Gospel, bringing devastating results. These are a few examples, and it’s tough to wait on God’s judgment, but through faith in Christ, we are assured this gross inequity will end.

Progressive Christianity

A popular movement gaining attraction is Progressive Christianity. It’s a group of people who reject orthodox Christian teachings and replace them with progressive ideologies attached to the world’s social, political, and ethnic status. They believe biblical Christians are out-of-touch with modern society.

They identify themselves as Christians but don’t follow the Gospel of Christ. Many of them reject Jesus’s death and resurrection. Their belief contradicts the Bible because they are unwilling to accept it without reservation that Christ died, shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin, and rose from the dead.

Most believe there’s nothing wrong with same-sex marriages, transgenderism, homosexuality, or lesbianism. Here we see the difference between self-deception and biblical truth (Romans 1:18-32). This false impression of God’s word is an excellent example of the Apostle Paul’s message in those scriptures mentioned above.

When Christ walked on earth, He did address the nations concerning good deeds (Matthew 25:31-46). In this passage, Jesus uncovered the blessing God gives those who provide care to those in need. He also unearthed the penalties for not showing compassion.

This is a brief outlook on Progressive Christianity. A more comprehensive evaluation can be found on the internet for your investigation.

Final Thoughts

As can be seen, finding a Church anchored in Christ’s Gospel can become a challenge. But they do exist, and the Acts of the Apostles provide a blueprint for what to look for in a Jesus-centered assembly. We can agree to pray for the right Church, place it in God’s hands, and through the Holy Spirit, He will lead us to it.

What are your thoughts?

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