Posts Tagged ‘body life’

As I continue to wrestle with what my role is at my church, especially given my non-traditional views on church, one thing I should clear up is this: it’s not about the building per se. In other words, I’m not blindly promoting “house churches” as such as the panacea for our modern church woes. Some house churches can be just as institutional as a traditional church! While I do feel that massive multi-million dollar church building projects are crazy, the reality is that my current church has a building (and some coveted adjacent land to boot), so I am prepared to put my concerns aside. One note about buildings is relevant however: houses do encourage and facilitate the family character of the church, something that is largely lost in your typical pew-filled, spectator-oriented building architecture.

My primary beef with the traditional church is that it does not release the gifts of the body. Oh sure, the rhetoric is there about how we all need to “serve the Lord”, but it rings a bit hollow. Frankly, I cannot understand how any honest reading of 1 Cor. 11 – 14 can be reconciled with your typical Sunday morning “worship service”:

What then, brothers and sisters? Whenever you come together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a revelation, another tongue, or an interpretation. Everything is to be done for building upIf anyone speaks in another tongue, there are to be only two, or at the most three, each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no interpreter, that person is to keep silent in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should evaluate. But if something has been revealed to another person sitting there, the first prophet should be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may learn and everyone may be encouraged. And the prophets’ spirits are subject to the prophets, since God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Cor. 14:26-33; CSB)

Despite the many problems in the Corinthian assembly, Paul does not suggest that the solution is to put an end to such Spirit-led spontaneity. Instead he reminds them to do things orderly (i.e., spontaneity within structure) and for the edification of the body. No amount of exegetical gymnastics can conjure up a reasonable explanation otherwise.

Much more could be written but I don’t have the time to offer a more detailed analysis at this time, so I’ll simply challenge the skeptical reader to consider my friend Jon Zen’s comprehensive study, Building Up the Body – One Man or One Another? Read it carefully and prayerfully and then let me know what you think in the comments.

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