This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Why We Need the Church--At Least the Real One

    Someone on another blog, who hates the church, raised the question of why we need religions.  Because I only have the credentials qualifying me to speak to the Christian church, I will limit myself.

As to the reason for the Christian church Paul, in Eph 3:10, wrote that God had held back a mystery
which for ages past was kept secret, but now was revealed. That mystery was  “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”   

Then in 6:12 he writes about that church vis a vis these rulers and authorities.   The church, is the only institution on earth commissioned and ordained to fight against “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

The appellations of our enemies,  reveal they are territorial beings, i.e. they capture and hold territory.   Jesus in John 10:10, describes what happens when they take territory.  They steal (our wealth, our health, our minds).  They reign down destruction (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires)   Eventually,  they kill us. 

In the Book of Acts we see that the early church did just what Jesus did.

So I hope that  answers the question why we need religion–at least the Christian church as created by Jesus.

But that does not end the story.  Early on, the church Jesus modeled went AWOL   In it’s place a counterfeit  was developed, which to secular minds seemed more what a religion was supposed to look like. 

Today, we have writers who tell us that the church in the advanced nations is dying.  Why wouldn’t it?  It is a parody of a New Testament Church.

But that is not the end of the story.   People in the emerging nations began rejecting the church brought to them by the colonial powers.  Instead, they took the Bible straight on.  Soon demons are coming out of people.  The dead are being raised.  The blind see through new eye balls. The lame walk with new appendages. 

To you unbelievers, have I answered your question as to why we need religion–at least Jesus’s religion?


Celtive said...

A Merry 3rd Day of Christmas Blogger, and a few questions;

1) What is the origin of the Church you speak of?

2) When are you saying that the Church went AWOL?

3) You quote significantly from the the New Testament books of the Bible: and then relate that people started taking the the Bible straight on......but how do you square the fact that the church that "Jesus modeled", did not have a New Testament or a given "Bible" for that matter? Are you saying that the church as an institution existed prior to a Bible being developed?

Blogger said...

Celtive, I am having trouble figuring out your question. If you have been following me over time, you know that my guiding motto is to always make the main thing the main thing. Jesus spent his time freeing people from renegade elohim to heal them spirituality and physically. He did that with his teachings and directly by his commands. He then declared the results as the Kingdom of God.

Jesus’ last instructions to the disciples in Mark 10:15ff were:
"And he said to them, Go into all the world, and preach the glad tidings to all the creation.
"He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that disbelieves shall be condemned.
"And these signs shall follow those that have believed:”
The Disciples were given an absolute promise they would cast out demons (Mk. 16:17).
◊ They were given an absolute promise they would speak with new tongues (Mk. 16:17).
◊ They would be unharmed by serpents (Mk. 16:17).
◊ They would be unharmed by liquid poisons (Mk. 16:17).
◊ They would heal others by laying hands on the sick (Mk. 16:17).
And the Book of Acts tell us that these signs did indeed follow those who believed, just as had been promised (Mk. 16:20).

The disciples gatherings were the“called out ones”–the Church. Gradually over time, they began to drop off what they were commissioned to do. In there place they added new activities like charity work–morality teaching–pomp and circumstance–social clubbing–entertainment--you name it.

As the church in the developed countries begin to drop off, in the emerging countries, new believers are doing what Jesus did. They are getting the same results as He did.

Celtive said...

Happy New Year Blogger & a Merry 9th Day of Christmas ~

I believe you did mean to say Mark 16:15. Not quite sure what you don't understand, as I am only using your own language per this post. You refer now to the Church, dropping off, what they were commissioned to do. Is this when you claim that the Church allegedly went AWOL? When are you referencing this within the historic time frame.

Which again speaks to my 3rd question. If, as you say,
"Gradually over time, they began to drop off what they were commissioned to do. In there place they added new activities like charity work–morality teaching–pomp and circumstance–social clubbing–entertainment--you name it", when did this occur? And how do you place this going AWOL, in relation to the ongoing writings of the Church fathers, and the development over time, as well as the authorization of the cannon of the Bible?

Do we not, in spite of the sinfulness of some, remain faithful to the promise of what Jesus stated in Matthew 28:19-20 "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”