#6 – Ecclesia Bigger Than Church
The sixth qualifier for the man of God whom we seek is that he will be kingdom-minded and understanding that the Ecclesia established by our Lord Jesus Christ transcends the boundaries of any sect, denomination, ordination, organization, occupation, gender, race, ethnicity, calendar or geographical situs.
Some people who are heavily involved in church get quite defensive about it, but that very defensiveness proves that there is some sort of separation between that group and the ecclesia at large. In fact, if you think about it, all that defines a church – be it a denomination, sect, association, local assembly, etc. – just describes ways in which it is separate and apart from the ecclesia at large, or how it is, itself, NOT ecclesia.
The only descriptors used in the New Testament were geographical – the ecclesia that is at Corinth, for example (I Corinthians 1:2): it simply named the location of the specific body of believers that Paul was writing to. Any other definitive descriptors were not of God. (I Corinthians 1:10-14; 3:3-11)
If our enemy can keep us thinking about ecclesia (let’s call it “church”) in terms of one day a week, a particular street address, a building (or buildings) at that address, a sign out front, a name on the sign, a named personality as leader, a particular seminary polishing that leader, a certain denomination behind it all, a pre-planned program of events, the music that we’ll sing and who will sing it and how, a sermon of a certain length and who will deliver it and how, a way that we dress, a way that we talk, the place where we sit, etc., every one of those definitions tightens the boundaries of the ecclesia box for us. It conditions us to think that the ecclesia meets ONLY here where we are and HOW we do it, or at least that it is MORE here than anywhere else. Our enemy is happy for us to put ourselves into a box for a couple hours on one day a week and then for us to leave all that is ecclesia in that box. Then on Monday morning, he hits us with his own systems in all the rest of life: law & government, money & banking, business, healthcare, education, family, the arts, media, etc. along with the idea that we’re supposed to keep “religion” separate from all that. But God is not so limited. He has perfect answers in all of those areas, and His ecclesia comprises His government on earth.
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