Ever heard of the Monday church?
But nowhere does the New Testament speak of the church as a place. The Bible speaks of the church in an organic way, as a community of believers. Here are some examples of the organic (as opposed to institutional) language the Bible uses for church.
– Ecclesia – assembly, congregation – 115 times in the NT
– Kononia – community, communion – 19 times in the NT
– The Bride of Christ – Ephesians 5:25-27
– The Priesthood of Believers – 1 Peter 2:9
– A Holy Nation – 1 Peter 2:9
– The Body of Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:27
The church may meet in a rice paddy in Thailand, in a house in China, in a warehouse in Hawaii, under a tree in Kenya, or in a building designed as a place of worship. But, according to the Bible, the PLACE is not the church. The church is the COMMUNITY that has gathered.
What led to the shift in emphasis? For the last hundred plus years, in response to the onslaught of evolutionary ideology (atheism or secular humanism), the church divorced herself from the biblical Judeo-Christian worldview and adopted the Sacred/Secular Dichotomy (SSD) of the Greek worldview. The SSD separates the spiritual from the secular, the “higher” from the “lower.” Sundays were separated from Mondays, and worship from work. I call this Evangelical Gnosticism as illustrated in the graphic.
Evangelical Gnosticism sees God as concerned with spiritual things only. He is interested in our Sundays, but not our Mondays. The church is a building where we worship, fellowship and study the Bible.
The Monday Church gathers to scatter
On the other hand, the biblical worldview sees the church as a community that gathers on Sunday for equipping and corporate worship (the white arrows in the diagram) and scatters (the black arrows) to love, serve, and work in the community, public square and marketplace. Those who gather on Sunday are the church on Monday and all week. They are the church scattered in the public square, the church in the market place, the church in the community. This is the Monday church.
The Sunday church focuses on spiritual and religious programs inside a building. Things outside the building are deemed secular and less important. The church has largely lost the concept of discipling nations, engaging the culture, stewarding the land, fighting corruption, injustice, and poverty.
- Darrow Miller
… to be continued