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Monday, September 26, 2005

The Invisible Church

There is a word that seems very popular these days in the way it is used to describe the desired approach to the Gospel message. "Holistic", as used today, indicates the intent to be more concerned with the whole Gospel message as opposed to concentrating on any specific part of the redemptive process (some would claim redemption as being only a part of the Gospel, some wouldn't include it at all but I still contend that's what "unto you is born a savior" means).

What if we assume a similar perspective on the Church? What if it is folly to try and separate our inward spiritual condition from our outward physical expression? Could it be that in so doing we are actually working to make the Church disappear? I suspect that if our actions would fail to define us then Jesus would never have said "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35 KJV)

It seems that when we fail to love one another the Church really is invisible.

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12 Comments:

Blogger dorsey said...

Great post, KC.

I started to comment, but it got long, so I posted it at my place.

(with credit to you for provoking the thought, of course)

(-:

9/26/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey you've got a wonderful ability to illustrate your messages with words. Thanks for an excellent article!

9/27/2005 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

i thought holistic meant the whole person not in reference to gospel

9/27/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

From a medical standpoint that's generally a true definition. However, the definition as it pertains to philosophy is:

[adj] characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole

I think that's a pretty apt commentary on the "being vs. doing" nature of the gospel.

9/27/2005 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

OK, but isn't holistic ministry concerned about feeding the hungry as much as the telling the words of the gospel?

I am not sure holistic is in reference to only the gospel message. Nor is it about social needs.

Isn't it about ministry to the body and the soul without over emphasizing both?

Either way, what Kc says is true. Where is the invisible church? i sure can't see it.

9/27/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pech the exact phrase I was refering to (and with which I am pummeled almost daily) is "....is that all it's about? I think the Gospel message is more than that, it's more holistic....". (I always miss your input when you're busy)

9/28/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

pecheur,

Yes, I absolutely agree. The holistic dynamic of the gospel encompasses body and soul, understanding them as intimately interconnected and unable to be separated. A gospel that serves just one or the other isn't whole. And it's not half-a-gospel, either. I believe it's geometrically diminished.

Maybe if we got some of those night-vision goggles...
:-)

9/28/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Zeke said...

The visible church is:

* The angry: Pat Robertson, Jim Dobson, Jerry Falwell

* the scandalous: Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart

* the greedy: Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, most of the rest of the TBN roster

* the haters: Fred Phelps

* the trinkets of the faith: WWJD bracelets, tshirts and stupid bumper stickers and all the other trappings of the merchandising of the profession of Christ

* the newborn Christians who feel compelled to tell all their old friends and relatives that they are going to hell

This is what people see, thanks both to those contributions and the predilection of the media for controversy. Meanwhile, every day the church feeds the poor, heals the sick, visits those in prison, builds schools, heals broken families, and simply gives feet to the gospel message.

9/29/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Zeke you make an excellent point. The failing of many to define themselves by love opened the door for the deceiver. I am persuaded that we need to be vigilant to provoke one another to love and earnestly pray that we not fall into a similar diversion and ask healing for our wounded brethren.

9/29/2005 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

very well said

9/29/2005 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Kc,

I agree with Dorsey. You do pose a powerful question. Here is my issue: I have discovered that in this blogging world, we have many that have varied opinions, and it seems that there are more than a few who seem to agree with no Scriptural basis. I cannot waste my time with those who simply want to debate and call names. Either we promote the Gospel through love, or we must leave them alone. He tells us that we are not to debate such matters as those that some in the blogging world bring up. Well, I know it has been a while, but great post!

10/03/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Ron first of all welcome back brother! I hope all is well.

I understand and sympathize. Without scriptural guidance there's no point of reference and what I want to believe is as good as what you want to believe. Like you, I am persuaded the scripture must be our guide.

10/03/2005 08:21:00 PM  

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