Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Local churches are divisive

Alan Knox makes a bold claim in the title of a new post...

God does not view your local church as distinct from other local churches in your area

Yowza! That is a sharp stick in the eye to one of our most cherished institutions, something that many people identify with far more than they do with the universal church throughout the ages. It is also completely crazy for many people who cannot comprehend the church outside of our carefully constructed traditions.

Alan goes on to make some similarly inflammatory statements....

We cannot choose to love, serve, teach, encourage, etc. those who are part of a certain “local church” but not recognize our responsibility and privilege of serving other brothers and sisters who are part of our lives but who may not be part of the same “local church” as us.

In reality, the modern concept of the “local church” – a concept and division of the church that began during the Reformation – is a division among the church that is outside the scope of Scripture. There is nothing in Scripture written specifically about or to the “local church” but the “local church” – as it is understood and practiced today – is not found in Scripture.
I say amen to that. We can dress up our notion of "local churches" in all of the religious, pious language we want but the end result is extra-biblical traditions that lead to division. Check out Alan's entire post, it is worth your time!

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