“CHURCHIANITY” OR CHRISTIANITY?
Many gospel preachers are accused of preaching more about the church than about Jesus. But those that really preach Jesus Christ the Lord as he was preached about in the first century cannot preach one without the other.
One cannot teach about the church without glorifying Christ Jesus as it’s “builder and owner” (Matthew 16:18), as its’ purchaser by his blood (Acts 20:28), as its’ head (Ephesians 5:23), the church as His body (Ephesians 1:22-23), and as his bride (Matthew 9:15; John 3:19).
But can’t one teach Jesus without teaching about the church?
Yes, IF you can preach about:
1. His love, and not mention His loving the church — Ephesians 5:25
2. His ability to save, and not note He is the Savior of the church. — Ephesians 5:23
3. His giving of Himself, ignoring that He gave himself for the church — Ephesians 5:25.
4. His headship, without seeing Him as the head of the church — Ephesians 5:23
5. His blood, but not that it purchased the church — Acts 20:25
6. His subjects, without pointing out the church is subject to Him. — Ephesians 5:24
7. His sanctifying and cleansing power, but forget He used it on the church — Ephesians 5:26
8. His nourishing and cherishing nature, but not toward the church — Ephesians 5:29
9. His persecutions, but not that He considered it anymore than what Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2 mentions. When the church is persecuted Jesus is persecuted — Acts 9:4; Acts 8:3
Yes, you may preach about Christ and not preach the church, but it won’t be the gospel that Paul preached or wrote about, to the church.
The ten chapters that make up Paul’s Ephesians and Colossians letters mention the church, the body meaning the church, or the kingdom to mean the church 28 times.
Jesus preached the church as the kingdom as being “nigh” or “at hand” in Matthew 10:7; Luke 10:9; Matthew 4:17; Mark 9:1 and Acts 1:3.
Those that preach little or nothing about the church neither preach Christ nor preach like He did. Those that say that preaching in Acts before baptism was just the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus need to read Acts 1:3; 8:12; 19:8 and 28:23, 31, and also note closely the sermons in Acts 10 and Acts 17.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4, as beautiful as it is, was never meant to be the comprehensive, exhaustive, complete, definitive word on the gospel any more than was 1 Corinthians 2:2, which doesn’t mention the burial and resurrection. Both must be considered in their total context.
Paul’s gospel was not a popular gospel, but it was a saving gospel when people obeyed it (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Share this with your neighbor and misinformed brethren.
David Underwood via Thyatira Church of Christ Oct 31, 1993
THE CHURCH – A HOSPITAL FOR SINNERS?
When I first read of the concept of the church being a hospital for sinners, I was skeptical. It seemed that we were implying that the church was a group of weak, sick, complaining, whining, and dying people. But after my wife went to work in a hospital, I realized that not all the people in a hospital are sick. Some folks in the hospital . . . in fact the majority, are healthy and vibrant. Many are skilled in bringing health back to the minority who had been admitted because of illness. I realized that any human illustration could be drawn out too far but notice how the church can be viewed as a hospital.
A crisis occurs and a rush is made to the emergency room. Various skills are used to bring immediate relief. Other personnel will be brought in that have developed expertise in various fields of health care. This affirms that every member of the body of health care is necessary. A plan of recovery is planned with regular checks on the progress of the one who is sick, lest a setback become a problem. Sometimes even when all personnel and all skills are used, the patient dies. This is unfortunate but it is the truth. Hospitals guard against being sued for malpractice and certainly would not want to be accused of neglecting a patient or forgetting a patient. . . or losing a patient because of lack of concern. If they must lose a patient because of death . . . “let us lose one trying with all our strength to save them,” is their motto.
Brethren, we are a hospital for sinners. The Great Physician is on call. Those of us that are healthy now minister to the sick. One day we might be sick and they can minister to us. Many a nurse had to go to the very bed they just made the day before. We need every member. Some have skills especially for certain patient’s healing (as in heart or lung problems). Others are great dietitians and know exactly how to “feed” the ailing person. Still others are good administrators or overseers. Others find joy in making the environment clean and germ free.
If we have some members who go back into the world and die. . . let us try every available means to save them. If they die let it not be for the reason of neglect or lack of concern. I don’t want God to “sue me” for malpractice on Judgment Day.
Don Musgrave 10 23 1983
?????Now for another view?????
THE CHURCH IS NOT A HOSPITAL
“I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
Several times I’ve heard it said that the church is a hospital for sick Christians. I believe that this is a most unfortunate description. It is normal for a hospital be filled with sick people, and this description gives the impression that the normal thing in a church is sick Christians. There are sick Christians in churches and it is the duty of the church to minister to them, but they should be the exception and not the rule. There are no perfect Christians, but we should all be healthy Christians. One may be healthy without being perfect.
Today we expect the subnormal as though it were normal. The New Testament standard is not imperfection. But let any minister preach the high standards of the scriptures and he will hear the complaint, “Nobody could be that good. According to that there isn’t a Christian in town.”
Our Lord came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. A revival is simply return to spiritual good health. The church is not a nursery for babies still on milk who should have long since been on meat. Sometimes the church does become a spiritual hospital — for we will need examination, diagnosis and treatment, and perhaps even surgery. And it does partake of the function of a nursery to young Christians. But we must get over the idea that it is normal to be weak and sickly when we should be living abundantly.
Richard Rodgers via Raleigh Church of Christ