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Are You a Church Member or a 'Called Out' Follower of Christ?

Updated on February 4, 2018
PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails' goal is to be a catalyst in encouraging the followers of Christ to pursue Biblical truth for themselves.

Those who have been have been indoctrinated in the mainstream church system believe that a follower of Christ equates to becoming a member of a church under the umbrella of a particular denomination with the requirement of attending weekly services. They believe that service to a Senior Pastor and his agenda is the way of Christ.

Many do not realize that what is called 'church' is a corrupt word that has replaced ekklesia, meaning 'the called out ones.' The ekklesia in no way represents a named denominational building, hierarchical structure, man-driven religious programs or a place to worship.

Church or Ekklesia?

Most believe in the counterfeit word 'church' as it pertains to a building where people go to hear a hireling in front of a pulpit in a stage act out a predetermined religious program. When people talk about church, they will always refer to their religious.

Do the church members believe they are the 'called out ones?'

How could they believe that they are 'called out' when the church agenda is about being called into a building thay call 'church?'

They are called into a scheduled weekly service that adheres to a liturgy based on a hierarchical denominational template. The interesting thing is that with all the different church denominations today, they can all be traced back to a certain man or women, but it is not Jesus Christ. This is because Christ never established the church system, but the ekklesia.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, a small rock and upon the large rock I will build my congregation

[ekklesia – called out ones], and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against her. – Matthew 16:18

Jesus never said he would build a church, but said he would build his called out ones upon the rock of himself.

Do you see anything about clergy, programs, denominations, named buildings and hierarchy in his words?

The problem with organized religion is that they must twist the words of Christ to justify their traditions.

An Outsider's Perspective

Have you ever taken a step back and watched the mainstream church system function from an outsider’s perspective?

It would be strikingly obvious that being a follower of Christ is about being called out of the worldly system into his Kingdom. It is not about partaking of man’s religious kingdoms. In fact, all the religious leaders within the church system will claim to follow the way of Christ and the apostles, but will deny their examples by their actions and behaviours.

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. – Matthew 23:8-12

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. – John 13:13

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. – John 10 :16

The ekklesia know that there is only one Teacher, Leader and Shepherd. We are all equal as brethren in his body because who are called out to be servants of the Kingdom.

The distinction between church memebers and the ekklesia is whether you follow the instructions of your Senior Pastor or Christ and whether you pay the Senior Pastor his salary or follow the one who has already paid the price.

Do you serve religious men or Christ?

Do servants of Christ stand upon elevated podiums or pedestals to make a name for themselves?

The traditions of man have usurped the role of Christ for someone who has obtained an esteemed religious title on a pice of paper. They believe that this gives them the entitlements and pre-eminence over their church minions.

Do religious church organizations follow what Christ taught.

From the outside looking in, they look no different than any other worldly model held in a mosque, temple or lodge.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions - 2 Timothy 4:3
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions - 2 Timothy 4:3

The Hired Hand

The example of the early ekklesia in Scripture was that they laid down their lives for others. They pointed to Christ alone and what he taught. They shared what they had with one another and lived like brothers and sisters in a family. They shared in tasks and their problems with the ultimate goal of sharing the Gospel with others.

The man-driven church system does not resemble this because it is a shallow hypocritical religion for the self-serving. They like to hire outsiders to lead them in their visions of grandeur who tickle the ears as they empty their purses and wallets to fill their coffers. The church leaders love to addressed with their esteemed religious titles of distinction. They are the ones who are deemed the replacements for our Teacher and Shepherd. They like take the seat of honour instead of Christ. They believe that they are who are in control and must be paid before they will do anything. They equate seminaries are the qualifier as being supposed servants of the Kingdom.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. – John 10:11-13

A hireling is a man who accepts money and usurps the role of the one true Shepherd. They will not lay their lives down for you, but will run away when trouble comes or when the money runs out.

Our true Shepherd has already laid down his life down for us. He is the the only way to the Father, but it requires listening to him rather than a salaried professional.

The rituals, traditions and templates of the church system nullify the teachings of Christ and make the Gospel of no effect.

We have the choice to choose either the religious double-mindedness of being allegiant to man's traditions as a good church member or by the leading of the Holy Spirit as a follower of Christ.

"This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" - Mark 9:7

Who Do You Follow?

We cannot follow Christ and partake of the counterfeit religious church system at the same time.

We must become disciples of Christ, not a church member.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. – John 14:15

The ekklesia are part of a little flock guided by the one true Shepherd. He is their Lord and Teacher. They do not rely on slaried mediators for vision or spiritual guidance. The 'called out ones' are called to serve in humility without selfish ambition. Being in one accord with Christ is knowing that the most lowly servant of all is the greatest in the Kingdom.

The church system is filled with people who are full of selfish ambition. They are self-seeking and want to be served rather than serving others. They desire to work their way up a hierarchical ladder to make their names known rather than Christ. Their minions are spoon fed their ambitions becoming merchandise of their ministries.

Taking up your stake and following Christ has nothing to do with a four-walled religious building.

“Come out of her, my people,

lest you take part in her sins,

lest you share in her plagues;

for her sins are heaped high as heaven,

and God has remembered her iniquities. – Revelation 18:4-5

“Go out of the midst of her, my people!

Let every one save his life

from the fierce anger of the LORD! – Jeremiah 51:45

The Lords

Not many are willing to consider that what is called 'church' today is a deceptive religious business scheme to make people customers rather than disciples of Christ.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. – Matthew 20:25-26

Salaried men called Pastor, Apostle, etc have become mediators between God and man usurping the role of Christ. These counterfeit leaders demand support to maintain their salaries and finance their own religious empires.

You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood – 1 Peter 2:5

The human power structure where men become Lords over people are birthed in religious seminaries. They breed hirelings who become masters of controlling people through coercion, manipulation and fear. This is bondage and oppression.

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!

She has become a dwelling place for demons,

a haunt for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.

For all nations have drunk

the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,

and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.” – Revelation 18:2-3

An Obscure Scattered Bunch of People

The ekklesia of Christ look absolutely nothing like those in the institutional church. They worship God through Christ in spirit and truth. They are an obscure and scattered bunch who walk the narrow way.

Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.– Jude 1:3-4

It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. – Jude 1:19

Those who are awakened to the deception of the church system can be freed from the bondage of the false doctrines and traditions that they have been seared with. They must allow the Holy Spirit to strip them of the baggage that they have been carrying so they can live in a life of victory.

When God is Ruling there are NO Denominations

Rebellion against the way of Christ and the apostles has divided people within denominations. Men have built their own churches as a means to attaining heaven. This is a Babylonian system that breeds confused and double-minded people who believe they can worship God any way they please rather than what pleases Him.

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:4-6

Many preach the doctrines of division. They are not serving God, but themselves promoting 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus.'

When Christ is given all authority there are no denominations. Denominational agendas have no place in the lives of the ekklesia because Christ is the one who is the builder.

Today, the ekklesia are a scattered people throughout the world. The world hates them and they are are being persecuted for living the truth by doing what Christ has commanded them to do. Those within the church system will be at enmity with them.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the ekklesia in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. – Acts 8:1-2

Church members despise the ekklesia because their beliefs and practices condemn what they stand for.

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. – John 17:14

If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. – John 15:20

Many have chosen a counterfeit system that only gives lip service to Christ.

In contrast, those who have been 'called out,' the ekklesia do what Christ has commissioned them to do to preach the genuine Gospel to the world including to those who are in bondage within the harlot church system.

Did Jesus Christ die and rise again so that men could erect buildings called church and put their own names upon them?

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© 2014 PlanksandNails

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    • profile image

      liberty 3 years ago

      The harlot church system indeed.

      Thanks to God for opening my eyes. Great post.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Pamela,

      Thank-you for your thoughts. God Bless.

    • Pamela Bush profile image

      howtopam 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      When a righteous believer's faith is strong enough that they no longer fear death, but know in their heart without a doubt that it is much better to be absent from the body and present with the Lord then they are prepared to preach the Word. Jesus is to be effectively preached by His revealing in the body of the preacher. "Why do you say that you love Me and you do not my commandments"? "He who lives by the Sword [Word] will die [unto himself] by the Sword."

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Jennifer Bart,

      I believe when we put faith in God's Word by reading it for ourselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the words and opinions of man that are spoken from the pulpits within "Churchianity" become of no use to those who are part of the Kingdom of God.

      I am encouraged that you follow Jesus rather than entitled men. Thank-you for your comment.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Flpalermo.

      Thanks for the encouragement. God Bless.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Lifegate,

      We can be sure that Pastor Eartickle will not lay his life down. Entitlement and self-importance are the qualifiers for the kingdoms of men (church), which is the opposite of the qualifier to entering into the Kingdom of God.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Graceinus,

      You are right when you said, "The hardest will be for those in leadership roles in churches to let go of the grip on control and their paycheck."

      “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. - Matthew 6:24

      It is unfortunate that these leaders are blinded by their entitlement for compensation, which they deem to be a salary. The church leaders disobey Jesus' words and then twist the words of Paul to justify their practice of "Churchianity."

      Jesus Christ gave His ekklesia a mission. They are not bound and confined to a particular location on earth.

    • Jennifer Bart profile image

      Jennifer Bart 3 years ago from Texas

      Love this I have a strong faith in the bible but do not go to church because of this very useful thank you

    • flpalermo profile image

      flpalermo 3 years ago

      Good job, good writing, good understanding.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      "The true Shepherd, Jesus Christ has already laid down His life down for you. He has already paid the price." What a beautiful line! - and, oh, Pastor Eartickle sounds so familiar.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      PandN- I don't see how anyone can misunderstand this article. It is clearly spelled out. I hope there are some out there who will see pass the blindness the church has placed on them and then step away from it. The hardest will be for those in leadership roles in churches to let go of the grip on control and their paycheck.

      I do believe Matthew 10:5-15 is a good example of the way Jesus wants His ekklesia to be. To go out INTO the world and spread the gospel of the Kingdom of God. And spreading the gospel of the Kingdom should be the most important part of ekklesia ministry. Collectively the ekklesia will go much good spreading the Good News.

      Clearly Matthew 10:7 spells out our mission as the ekklesia.

      Many, many blessings to you.

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