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Posted: 12/15/2008 4:54:54 PM EST
When Jesus told Peter he would found his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it, what is he talking about?

The sum total of all believers and followers of Jesus as the Body of Christ?

The corporate church as represented by Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant denominations as an institution?

If you answer the institution of the Church as represented in the second case, are believers who are not members of a fellowship or denomination not true Christians but apostates?

Link Posted: 12/15/2008 5:02:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By machaira:
When Jesus told Peter he would found his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it, what is he talking about?

The sum total of all believers and followers of Jesus as the Body of Christ?




This

Not a denomination, building or physical church but all true believers who confess their sin an depend on Jesus Christ for Salvation to get them to Heaven.
Link Posted: 12/16/2008 5:02:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By machaira:

The sum total of all believers and followers of Jesus as the Body of Christ?

Correct.

It was embodied by the Roman Catholic Church until the weaknesses of men led it to fracture into the mess we have today.

People often joke about how something "makes Baby Jesus cry". I firmly believe that what REALLY makes Him cry is when two people who believe in Him hate each other because of differences in HOW they worship Him.
Link Posted: 12/16/2008 6:04:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By machaira:

The sum total of all believers and followers of Jesus as the Body of Christ?

Correct.

It was embodied by the Roman Catholic Church until the weaknesses of men led it to fracture into the mess we have today.

People often joke about how something "makes Baby Jesus cry". I firmly believe that what REALLY makes Him cry is when two people who believe in Him hate each other because of differences in HOW they worship Him.


Amen! We should be weeping that the Body of Christ is broken, due to human pride.
Link Posted: 12/16/2008 11:41:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By rapracing:
Originally Posted By machaira:
When Jesus told Peter he would found his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it, what is he talking about?

The sum total of all believers and followers of Jesus as the Body of Christ?




This

Not a denomination, building or physical church but all true believers who confess their sin an depend on Jesus Christ for Salvation to get them to Heaven.


That's my belief too.
Link Posted: 12/16/2008 4:49:16 PM EST
All of us believers in him is my response.
Link Posted: 12/16/2008 5:04:30 PM EST
Thanks for the replies....

To further this, is a person who professess to be a follower of Jesus but who is not part of an institutional body - one that meets at a regular time and place for worship and teaching - is that person in sin because of this?

I ask this for two reasons: One is personal - we do not have a "home church" right now afater leaving a church we attended for several years; it was really too far to drive after we moved and we have not been able to feel comfortable in any local churches around us.

And secondly, from a discussion at work with a co-worker who will no longer be a part of a corporate church body aafter witnessing his church cannabalizing itself during a split. He feels he is closer to God and fine staying home and reading his Bible, helping out in the Lions Club activities, etc.

I have always been a church member somewhere - until now. Feels a little odd and I have worried about it some.
Link Posted: 12/16/2008 7:32:24 PM EST
Jesus organized a Church...meaning an institution. Now, that institution is comprised of its members, but an institution was nonetheless created. It had a foundation of living prophets and apostles, with Christ as the chief cornerstone. There were other callings as well, such as bishops, teachers, etc.

It has necessary ordinances such as baptism and receiving the gift of The Holy Ghost, administering the Sacrament, etc.

Why? For the perfecting of the saints (church members), to edify them, to bring them to a unity of faith, and of knowledge of The Son of God. To avoid being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Etc.
Link Posted: 12/17/2008 4:54:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/17/2008 4:55:41 AM EST by JJREA]
Hebrews 10:

24And(AF) let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25(AG) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and(AH) all the more as you see(AI) the Day drawing near.


It's hard when you can't find a church that seems right. Keep praying God will lead you to one and keep trying.



Link Posted: 12/17/2008 8:35:02 AM EST
I'm in the understanding that "Church" is 3 or more believers hanging out and discussing/praying. Technically, quite a few of these topics have been church meetings
Link Posted: 12/17/2008 10:19:56 AM EST
Its been disconcerting to me NOT attending a regular fellowship. Most of the smaller churches around me are family affairs - nice folks but I have no roots in this area and we always feel like outsiders. Maybe I am being too critical - I don't intend to be at least.

I was raised to go to church, get involved, serve and be a part of things. My wife was not and really just goes for worship (if its contemporary) and hear the preacher.

We raised our kids in church and now they are pretty much gone - around some but going on their own where they are now. We attended a good church for years and then we went thru a couple of ministers, etc. The worship became so much fluff - way overproduced and really a "show". Hard to participate as a congregation. We moved out of town but still attended for awhile but its not working anymore.

I see the purpose of the gathering of believers and the edifiying ministry of the church. I have not bought into the "I can be in the woods or on the golf course and be close to God on Sundays" argument and don't desire it.
I guess I just feel out of sorts and wondering if its me being hypercritical or if others find it hard to "adopt a fellowship".

Link Posted: 12/17/2008 10:48:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By machaira:
Its been disconcerting to me NOT attending a regular fellowship. Most of the smaller churches around me are family affairs - nice folks but I have no roots in this area and we always feel like outsiders. Maybe I am being too critical - I don't intend to be at least.

I was raised to go to church, get involved, serve and be a part of things. My wife was not and really just goes for worship (if its contemporary) and hear the preacher.

We raised our kids in church and now they are pretty much gone - around some but going on their own where they are now. We attended a good church for years and then we went thru a couple of ministers, etc. The worship became so much fluff - way overproduced and really a "show". Hard to participate as a congregation. We moved out of town but still attended for awhile but its not working anymore.

I see the purpose of the gathering of believers and the edifiying ministry of the church. I have not bought into the "I can be in the woods or on the golf course and be close to God on Sundays" argument and don't desire it.
I guess I just feel out of sorts and wondering if its me being hypercritical or if others find it hard to "adopt a fellowship".



Sounds to me like a classic case of searching to find the right church. I encourage you to keep searching until you find it.
Link Posted: 12/17/2008 11:35:34 AM EST
I agree with Shane. Keep looking.

There are two bits of Scripture that apply here. One of them is when Christ says (paraphrased), "Whenever two or more meet in My Name, I am there with them". The other (and I can't for the life of me remember where it's from) encourages the union of believers so that they can draw support from each other and look after each other. It's different from the one cited above.

I'm in my local Catholic Church, but it's less than ideal for me. All in good time. At least I'm getting my tail out to Mass each week, which is more than I can say for myself just a few months ago. It's helped make a difference.
Link Posted: 12/17/2008 11:53:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I agree with Shane. Keep looking.

There are two bits of Scripture that apply here. One of them is when Christ says (paraphrased), "Whenever two or more meet in My Name, I am there with them". The other (and I can't for the life of me remember where it's from) encourages the union of believers so that they can draw support from each other and look after each other. It's different from the one cited above.

I'm in my local Catholic Church, but it's less than ideal for me. All in good time. At least I'm getting my tail out to Mass each week, which is more than I can say for myself just a few months ago. It's helped make a difference.


Perhaps Ephesians 4: 11-16?
Link Posted: 12/17/2008 12:22:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/17/2008 12:40:18 PM EST by criley]
Romans 12:
1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.



1 Cor 6:
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.


1 Cor 10:
15 ¶ I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
Cor 12:12 ¶ For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?
20 But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 ¶ Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Eph 1:
15 ¶ Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,
23 Which is his body
,
the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Link Posted: 12/19/2008 2:50:13 PM EST
The Church is twofold.

1) It is the invisible body of Christ made up of all believers who are in Christ through Baptism.

2) And it is also the visible Church, the Catholic Church to be precise. Jesus established the Catholic Church 2000 years ago. All the denominations outside of the Catholic Church are religious groups that are seprated from the Church that Christ established, but some are united to the Church through Baptism, and they are called by the Church as "seperated brethren." The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Gospel.
Link Posted: 12/19/2008 4:06:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By Theodoret:
The Church is twofold.

1) It is the invisible body of Christ made up of all believers who are in Christ through Baptism.

2) And it is also the visible Church, the Catholic Church to be precise. Jesus established the Catholic Church 2000 years ago. All the denominations outside of the Catholic Church are religious groups that are seprated from the Church that Christ established, but some are united to the Church through Baptism, and they are called by the Church as "seperated brethren." The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Gospel.



I would agree with this except to specify the Eastern Orthodox Church, which of course is Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church separated from the The Church in 1054 and went it's own way, the Eastern Orthodox Church is the actual one that can trace it's Bishops continuously back to the Apostles.
Link Posted: 12/20/2008 8:04:25 AM EST
Sorry to say this without doing a C&P of the whole bible...
Its simple.

What do you believe? It matters not, what others believe.

If you sit down and say, "I can not figure this out on my own, I need to ask others"...then you need a church. Keep looking.

If you sit down and say, "I worship, therefore I am doing my part", then you are good to go.

Really the fact you had to come here and ask tells me, you need to have a church. Not because you can not do it alone, but because that's who you are. You are a social person who draws strength in numbers.

You would not feel right living alone in the mountains rarely seeing people...it wouldn't feel right to you...take that into your life now...Why are you feeling disconnected? Answer...you have no true church.
Link Posted: 12/20/2008 9:00:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By CWDraco:
Sorry to say this without doing a C&P of the whole bible...
Its simple.

What do you believe? It matters not, what others believe.

If you sit down and say, "I can not figure this out on my own, I need to ask others"...then you need a church. Keep looking.

If you sit down and say, "I worship, therefore I am doing my part", then you are good to go.

Really the fact you had to come here and ask tells me, you need to have a church. Not because you can not do it alone, but because that's who you are. You are a social person who draws strength in numbers.

You would not feel right living alone in the mountains rarely seeing people...it wouldn't feel right to you...take that into your life now...Why are you feeling disconnected? Answer...you have no true church.



Hmm....close, my friend. I do well in solitude but I do well in social settings too. I am pretty individualistic and in search of God's truth more than unity in the ecumenical sense. So, no, I don't "need" other people to validate my faith, but yes I do recognize that we are called to be members of the body of Christ, individuals in relationship with him above all but still part of a body. I would like to be a part of such a community again. Its just strange feeling to me since I have always been part of a fellowship of believers, involved in serving in various ways.

Now, I have been apart from a "formal" fellowship for about a year - we attend churches but we sort of run a cycle between 2-3 fellowships we visit. I actually enjoy visiting around but I am just wondering if I am wrong headed in my search - hypercritical I guess.
I really enjoyed the Greek Orthodox church I attended once. The ancient faith, as they called it, intrigued me and there is a lot of scripture read and prayed during their matins.
I found more actual worship, for me at least, in that service and an Episcopal service I attended at Pohick Church in Lorton VA., than in the other contemporary type services I have been attending around here. "Traditional" services in the little churches around here too don't have a lot of scripture read or interaction by the congregation in readings, etc. I just am "bored" for lack of a better term with what I see as lackadaisical church services.
That leads me back to the point that I believe I am the problem. Am I expecting too much and selfish in my search for the right place?
I realize that no one here can give me an answer. I am going to keep praying, visiting and trusting God to lead us where He wants us to be.
Link Posted: 12/20/2008 9:49:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2008 10:39:05 AM EST by loonybin]
Originally Posted By sharps54:
Originally Posted By Theodoret:
The Church is twofold.

1) It is the invisible body of Christ made up of all believers who are in Christ through Baptism.

2) And it is also the visible Church, the Catholic Church to be precise. Jesus established the Catholic Church 2000 years ago. All the denominations outside of the Catholic Church are religious groups that are seprated from the Church that Christ established, but some are united to the Church through Baptism, and they are called by the Church as "seperated brethren." The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Gospel.



I would agree with this except to specify the Eastern Orthodox Church, which of course is Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church separated from the The Church in 1054 and went it's own way, the Eastern Orthodox Church is the actual one that can trace it's Bishops continuously back to the Apostles.

Actually, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches can trace their bishops back to the Apostles. That is why they are the only Churches –– they are the only ones with Apostolic Succession.

As for who separated from whom... that's been argued for close to 1000yrs, and I doubt that you and I will resolve it here. Suffice it to say that I disagree with you, since one has to ask "which Orthodox Church" is the actual one (Russian, Greek, Serbian, etc.), since some allow divorce and remarriage (with no annullment), some allow artificial contraception, etc. What I find sad is that the Catholic Church recognizes Orthodox sacraments as valid, yet we are called heretics by the Orthodox...
Link Posted: 12/20/2008 9:52:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By machaira:
Originally Posted By CWDraco:
Sorry to say this without doing a C&P of the whole bible...
Its simple.

What do you believe? It matters not, what others believe.

If you sit down and say, "I can not figure this out on my own, I need to ask others"...then you need a church. Keep looking.

If you sit down and say, "I worship, therefore I am doing my part", then you are good to go.

Really the fact you had to come here and ask tells me, you need to have a church. Not because you can not do it alone, but because that's who you are. You are a social person who draws strength in numbers.

You would not feel right living alone in the mountains rarely seeing people...it wouldn't feel right to you...take that into your life now...Why are you feeling disconnected? Answer...you have no true church.



Hmm....close, my friend. I do well in solitude but I do well in social settings too. I am pretty individualistic and in search of God's truth more than unity in the ecumenical sense. So, no, I don't "need" other people to validate my faith, but yes I do recognize that we are called to be members of the body of Christ, individuals in relationship with him above all but still part of a body. I would like to be a part of such a community again. Its just strange feeling to me since I have always been part of a fellowship of believers, involved in serving in various ways.

Now, I have been apart from a "formal" fellowship for about a year - we attend churches but we sort of run a cycle between 2-3 fellowships we visit. I actually enjoy visiting around but I am just wondering if I am wrong headed in my search - hypercritical I guess.

I really enjoyed the Greek Orthodox church I attended once. The ancient faith, as they called it, intrigued me and there is a lot of scripture read and prayed during their matins.
I found more actual worship, for me at least, in that service and an Episcopal service I attended at Pohick Church in Lorton VA., than in the other contemporary type services I have been attending around here. "Traditional" services in the little churches around here too don't have a lot of scripture read or interaction by the congregation in readings, etc. I just am "bored" for lack of a better term with what I see as lackadaisical church services.That leads me back to the point that I believe I am the problem. Am I expecting too much and selfish in my search for the right place?
I realize that no one here can give me an answer. I am going to keep praying, visiting and trusting God to lead us where He wants us to be.



You answered your own question. Just as a spectator will see the perfact move for a chess player before the player does..I found your answer within your game play....

You have explored all the right moves...you have found what you should do. Sounds to me like a wise man plans while a foolish man rushes in. You looked around, know what you want, but change is a scary thing...it's all good.

Link Posted: 12/20/2008 10:41:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By machaira:I really enjoyed the Greek Orthodox church I attended once. The ancient faith, as they called it, intrigued me and there is a lot of scripture read and prayed during their matins.



The Divine Liturgy is absolutely beautiful, especially when sung in Old Slavonic!
Link Posted: 12/21/2008 5:44:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By machaira:
To further this, is a person who professes to be a follower of Jesus but who is not part of an institutional body - one that meets at a regular time and place for worship and teaching - is that person in sin because of this?


"Where ever 2 or more are gathered in my name..."

Do you read the Bible and pray regularly with your family, say at breakfast or Sunday mornings? Then in my belief, your family are "a church". You may not be able to get a tax deduction from it, but that is not why you are doing it. All that is required is that you gather, read, pray, and care for each other.

For the first 300 years Christian "churches" were 1 to 3 families meeting in private to pray and study together. You do NOT need a college educated leader, a big building, TV cameras, a choir, candles, a collection plate, Rollex watches, or any of the other trappings of the modern American church to actually be a "church". In a lot of ways, those extras distract, rather than add to the worship.

Just my 2 cents.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 2:09:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By CWDraco:
Originally Posted By machaira:
Originally Posted By CWDraco:
Sorry to say this without doing a C&P of the whole bible...
Its simple.

What do you believe? It matters not, what others believe.

If you sit down and say, "I can not figure this out on my own, I need to ask others"...then you need a church. Keep looking.

If you sit down and say, "I worship, therefore I am doing my part", then you are good to go.

Really the fact you had to come here and ask tells me, you need to have a church. Not because you can not do it alone, but because that's who you are. You are a social person who draws strength in numbers.

You would not feel right living alone in the mountains rarely seeing people...it wouldn't feel right to you...take that into your life now...Why are you feeling disconnected? Answer...you have no true church.



Hmm....close, my friend. I do well in solitude but I do well in social settings too. I am pretty individualistic and in search of God's truth more than unity in the ecumenical sense. So, no, I don't "need" other people to validate my faith, but yes I do recognize that we are called to be members of the body of Christ, individuals in relationship with him above all but still part of a body. I would like to be a part of such a community again. Its just strange feeling to me since I have always been part of a fellowship of believers, involved in serving in various ways.

Now, I have been apart from a "formal" fellowship for about a year - we attend churches but we sort of run a cycle between 2-3 fellowships we visit. I actually enjoy visiting around but I am just wondering if I am wrong headed in my search - hypercritical I guess.

I really enjoyed the Greek Orthodox church I attended once. The ancient faith, as they called it, intrigued me and there is a lot of scripture read and prayed during their matins.
I found more actual worship, for me at least, in that service and an Episcopal service I attended at Pohick Church in Lorton VA., than in the other contemporary type services I have been attending around here. "Traditional" services in the little churches around here too don't have a lot of scripture read or interaction by the congregation in readings, etc. I just am "bored" for lack of a better term with what I see as lackadaisical church services.That leads me back to the point that I believe I am the problem. Am I expecting too much and selfish in my search for the right place?
I realize that no one here can give me an answer. I am going to keep praying, visiting and trusting God to lead us where He wants us to be.



You answered your own question. Just as a spectator will see the perfact move for a chess player before the player does..I found your answer within your game play....

You have explored all the right moves...you have found what you should do. Sounds to me like a wise man plans while a foolish man rushes in. You looked around, know what you want, but change is a scary thing...it's all good.



Good advice here, remember the service doesn't end with the litergy (or mass) it should continue on to the fellowship of "coffee hour" where you will find many churches will do an adult Sunday school type thing to expand on concepts that are too big to put in the sermon. You can't just attend the service on Sunday and get the whole picture, there is a lot more to it.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 2:13:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By loonybin:
Originally Posted By sharps54:
Originally Posted By Theodoret:
The Church is twofold.

1) It is the invisible body of Christ made up of all believers who are in Christ through Baptism.

2) And it is also the visible Church, the Catholic Church to be precise. Jesus established the Catholic Church 2000 years ago. All the denominations outside of the Catholic Church are religious groups that are seprated from the Church that Christ established, but some are united to the Church through Baptism, and they are called by the Church as "seperated brethren." The Catholic Church has the fullness of the Gospel.



I would agree with this except to specify the Eastern Orthodox Church, which of course is Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church separated from the The Church in 1054 and went it's own way, the Eastern Orthodox Church is the actual one that can trace it's Bishops continuously back to the Apostles.

Actually, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches can trace their bishops back to the Apostles. That is why they are the only Churches –– they are the only ones with Apostolic Succession.

As for who separated from whom... that's been argued for close to 1000yrs, and I doubt that you and I will resolve it here. Suffice it to say that I disagree with you, since one has to ask "which Orthodox Church" is the actual one (Russian, Greek, Serbian, etc.), since some allow divorce and remarriage (with no annullment), some allow artificial contraception, etc. What I find sad is that the Catholic Church recognizes Orthodox sacraments as valid, yet we are called heretics by the Orthodox...


Good points, especially considering how antagonistic I came off! I'll agree we can't fix it here and I'll also agree with what my Orthodox priest told me, it's not our place to try to convert other Christians to our point of view, non-Christians yes but we shouldn't be going to the Roman Catholic Church to get new Orthodox members. That is one of the problems with the Salvation Army, they make a point to trying to convert other Christians. Anyhow sorry I came across so narrow minded.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 6:10:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By RFWobbly:
For the first 300 years Christian "churches" were 1 to 3 families meeting in private to pray and study together.

Your source for this version of Church history is...?

Writings from the early Christians (the first 300 years) show something very different.
Link Posted: 12/22/2008 7:13:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By rapracing:
Originally Posted By machaira:
When Jesus told Peter he would found his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it, what is he talking about?

The sum total of all believers and followers of Jesus as the Body of Christ?




This

Not a denomination, building or physical church but all true believers who confess their sin an depend on Jesus Christ for Salvation to get them to Heaven.



THIS...

- Clint
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 11:58:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/24/2008 11:59:22 AM EST by EastWind]
The "Church" is a tool. It would be out of character for a benevolent God to not afford us some means of discovery outside our own experiences. We go to church and discuss, learn, ponder, and help. The church, of whatever denomination, is a tool intended by God to make our lives fuller, richer, and more service oriented. I personally don't believe in a God that would punish a (Insert denomination) who saved a (Insert denomination)'s life, because he chose the wrong team.

The gates of Hell will not prevail against good. I believe "good" in that sentence will be a melting pot of culture's, religions, and creeds.
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