Church isn’t a building. It’s a people.
The church is not a government recognized 501©3 non-profit organization. It’s not a name. It’s not Baptist. It’s not something tangible like an apple. The church is a group of people with a common faith.
The church is based on the firm foundation (Matthew 16:18) that Jesus Christ is part of the triune God – the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. We know that as a Holy and Just God, He must punish sin and that we fully deserve to go to Hell for our sinful actions. In his mercy, Jesus, who is both fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, fulfilled the law that we could not, was killed as a substitution for the just punishment of our sin, was raised 3 days later, ascended into heaven, and if we put our faith and trust in Him – that He will save us and raise us up also from the grave to live with him in heaven for all eternity. Salvation is by grace alone – through faith alone – in Christ alone – who we learn about through the scriptures alone – to the glory of God alone.
The Church is based on Jesus Christ, the Messiah. We rally around this point. This unites all of us (Ephesians 4:4-6).
In our essentials, we have Unity.
In our non-essentials, we have Liberty.
In all things, we must have Charity.
We may not go to the same building, but you’re still part of my church.
We may not hear the same sermons, but we’re still the body of Christ.
We may not sing the same songs, but they’re joyful either way.
We may not sit in the same classroom, but we need you anyway.
We may not see you every week, but we still think about you every day.
God refers to the church as the body of Christ in several places in the New Testament and it is especially clear in 1 Corinthians 12. If we’re all members of the body of Christ (those of us who have Faith in Christ alone), when we fight or sin against one another – we’re breaking our own bones, setting snares for our own feet, intentionally tripping ourselves so we fall, or punching ourselves in the face.
Our local church has just gone through a split. One group went one way. The other went another way. I didn’t feel it was my place to choose a side.
To those who left – I love you all. I miss you. You will always be part of my church – just like those we love from all our past local churches. We will be reunited some day… after the broken bones have been set, the bruises have healed, and the snares have been removed.
To those who stayed – let’s unite around the essentials of our faith. Let’s unite around Christ and his Word. Let’s get back to making Jesus’ name famous and giving Him all the glory.
To anyone else who may read this – Please don’t take any church splits as evidence against the truth of Christianity. If anything, it’s more evidence for its truth. It just goes to show that we’re all sinful people in need of a savior. We won’t be perfect on this side of heaven. Christ did the hard part. All you have to do is put your faith and trust in Him. He does the saving.