What is the Church?

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JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
We have discussed the marks of the church, and various aspects of the functions of a church, such as worship, preaching, oversight, etc.; we have even discussed at length the visible and invisible church. But what is the church?

In one place the organization thinks it's the church, as if the whole is greater than the parts. In another place the elders think they are the church, as if the parts do not add up to anything at all. In yet another place it is clear that the church itself is sacrosanct, and cannot be criticized, right or wrong, no matter the consciences of the people. Such a church can even overrule sound reason and Biblical faith.

Turretin says that ";;where there is true faith, there is the church";;, and ";;where the Word is preached, there is the church.";; Some would have it that it is more than that, but they define it by their own standards, and not the Word.

It does not follow that a church must be preaching the Word purely for it to be a true church. But where other things take priority over the Word, and yet the Word is preached, is all too common in our time. We are to attach ourselves to a true church, and not depart from it; but we often leave our churches to worship at a place more suited to our liking, which is often based on good Biblical reasoning. But have we worked out a good and sound definition of what the church really is?

Sure, it is a body of true believers, and even could conceivably be construed as a body of believers, whether true or not. But certainly there are many ramifications to that simple statement. What are they? Is it the body organized? Is it the leaders? Is it the minister? Is it the vote of the majority?

When does a person have a right to stand up against his church? And when does he not, even if the church is wrong?

These are some of the many questions always going through my mind as I struggle with my own church affiliation. We each have struggles in that respect; what are yours? And can we work out some solutions?
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
It would seem that we have an obligation when the Kirk errs to say so and challenge the presbyters to make the refoms necessay to bring it into conformity with the Word of God.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
Jude 3
Romans 15:13-14
II Timothy 4:2
Col 3:16

All of these passages in one way or other speak of admonishing each other in our fellowship
 
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