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Friday, May 2, 2014

Where is God's true church today?

The problem with that question is all of the things that we attach to the word "church." When that word is used, we think of a building, religious service or organization. However, the Greek word that is translated into English as "church" refers to an assembly of people who have been called together by God. As a consequence, when someone asks a question like this one, we begin the discussion with a false conception of what we are addressing.

Hence, if you are looking through a list of "churches" trying to find God's church, you are going to come up empty handed. There are Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and a host of other "churches" that make up Christendom. These are human organizations that may or may not have members who are also a part of that assembly of people who have been called together by God.

To be sure, many of these groups claim to be God's one and only true "church" (they love to exclude each other from God's love and kingdom), but I don't think that God has shared his membership list with any of them! Since God is the One doing the calling, "He" is the only One who knows for sure who is a part of God's "true church."

When we look at the big picture, a lot of these types of questions become absurd. God's church can't be identified by a set of doctrines, a name or a group of buildings at some physical location on this planet. The "Church" is what the original Greek word indicates that it is, nothing more or less.

Does it really matter what your group believes? Isn't what God believes more important? Does it matter what your group calls itself? Doesn't it matter more how God identifies "His" church? Does it matter what form of human governance your group has chosen for itself? Isn't God's supremacy what really matters? Is the way that your group conducts its worship service more important than worshiping God?

If you are a part of a group that satisfies your individual spiritual needs, then you should be happy. Don't forsake gathering together with your brothers and sisters in Christ - that's important (notice it's part of the meaning of the original Greek word for "church"). However, please don't try to tell me that your group is God's one and only true church!

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