Some of you who are reading this headline are yawning. Local churches – kinda boring in light of all the cutting-edge, tantalizing current events.
Some of you are immediately turned off. Not interested.
Then some of you out there are starting to think. Maybe this is something I should pay attention to. So, let’s go forward and talk about it. Let me address why starting or finding a local church assembly is, not just important, but absolutely critical – especially in the unprecedented times in which we live today.
The Meaning of Church
To begin, let’s fix in our minds on what a biblical church is. I cover this in chapter 15 of Book Three, Foundation and Fulfillment in the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. But essentially, in both the Old and New Testaments, the ekklesia (Greek) translated either assembly, church or congregation is comprised of regenerated Israelites from the racial family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the New Testament, the church Jesus Christ said He would build (Matthew 16:18) was made up of many local church assemblies – the churches in Galatia, the church in Corinth, the church in Ephesus, and so forth. These churches were comprised of Israelites, called and chosen of God through Christ and the New Covenant.
The Purpose of the Church
In Book Seven, The Kingdom of God Manifested, I discuss the necessity of local churches fulfilling many purposes. One of those purposes is to create an interdependent covenant community through fellowship. A central theme in the local fellowship body is unity nourished through worship, functional giftings, and integrity in teaching. In the church, relationships are formed and nurtured within the church body in order to function on many levels in internal ministry within the church body.
(There is also an external purpose for which God in Christ Jesus created His church that I will address in Part Two. That purpose is highly relevant in respect to what is going on now.)
Why do we need local churches? One big reason is Christian fellowship. I have heard others say to me, “My church is so and so’s internet ministry.” There might be good and helpful teaching through website ministries, but that is not a new covenant church. A true church body is about face-to-face fellowship. Seeing each other. Talking with each other. Praying and singing with each other. Practicing love and tolerance with each other. Resolving personal conflicts with each other. There is no substitute. We need each other in a local church fellowship.
You know, it’s interesting to observe what is going on today. Social distancing. Wearing masks. Stay at home orders. Prohibitions of gathering of no more than ten people. Ponder what kind of damage that is doing to our People. Under the virus illusion, the controllers have convinced our People it is the best policy to keep separate from each other. No, we were created to be with each other.
I was doing some grocery shopping the other day at a local store. To enter the store we were all herded like cattle (goyim) in a line with sidewalk markers placed six feet apart featuring a few words thanking us for practicing “social distancing.” You probably encountered the same thing in your neck of the woods. I hate it. It’s demeaning.
As I entered the store with my shopping cart dutifully disinfected by a store employee, I noticed that I was one of the few not wearing a mask or gloves. I went about my business, but I couldn’t help but be aware of how purposefully distant everyone was from one another. They were living in fear of one another.
While I was at the produce section, I just happened to get within about three feet of a masked and gloved woman. When she noticed me out of the corner of her eye, she immediately turned her head to look at me and stepped away. I was too close for her programmed comfort.
I noticed that no one looked you in the eye and avoided talking to one another. But interestingly, the few who did not wear a mask or gloves like me had no problem making eye contact and share a friendly hello.
Social distancing is social conditioning and that is beginning to create suspicious snitches, the citizen police of government power. And, as you may know, that is being openly encouraged. Rewards are even being offered.
No Church Fellowship These Days
I had one acquaintance tell my wife how elated she was that her church was going to have “Easter Sunday” gathered together as a church but in their own separate vehicles in the church parking lot. Probably six feet apart too. Pretty sad.
Bottom line. We need each other. We need a local church fellowship. Can you find a new covenant assembly meeting fairly close to you?
Perhaps God would call you to help start a church. I know it sounds overwhelming. But remember, Our Lord Jesus said He would build it and He will use His People to do it.
The Bible Mastery Boot Camp is a tool that may help you.
Lawrence Blanchard, ND, M.Div
Next Up: Why We Need Local Churches, Part 2