A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Churchless Christianity Does Not Work

Good words from Steve Harper:
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When we begin to live in the light of faith, we see that our salvation incorporates us into the Church.  We come to Life as one member of the larger Body of Christ.  We cannot live apart from the Church any more than one part can live separated from the body.


This is why "churchless Christianity" will never work, even though some of the concerns it carries are valid.  The cure for whatever damage the Church has inflicted on our faith is not our separation from it, but the renewal of it.

Christ gathers all believers to himself, functioning as our Head.  We are "one" in him.  We cannot individualize or privatize our salvation without destroying what Christ gave himself to accomplish-- namely, the joining together of what sin had separated.  No family is complete when there is an empty chair at the table, created when someone decided to leave home.

So, as Pope Francis says, "Faith is necessarily ecclesial."  This does not mean the Church is perfect; in fact, it is often very flawed.  This does not mean it always lives up to our expectations-- even legitimate ones.  But it does mean the Church is "of God" (Who must both praise and purge it), and it is the family into which we are incorporated when we believe.

And like the individual parts joined to the larger body, as we are joined to the larger Body of Christ, we find the life of God present and active in us so that we can continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3 comments:

Mike said...

Does one's ecclesiology necessarily require attendance in a particular building on a particular day? Can it also include the Church universal?

Allan Bevere said...

Mike,

How can one not be part of the church in a particular place and still be part of the church universal? There is no abstract church universal, only each local church which is part of the whole.

Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands said...

Sorry, I disagree.
I have seen more real Christianity taking place, by those who don't believe in a deity who takes attendance, than by those who show up, well, religiously.
Imagine how much money and aid and good works could be done, by selling the building and not needing to worry about raising money for a new roof.
Jesus didn't say. "Hey...let's set ourselves up in a fine edifice." Nope, he went out, amongst the people.
God is not found in any building. In fact, that enclosure might be blocking your view.