- Religion and Philosophy
Comparing the Man-Made Religion of Church with the Spiritual Organism of the Ekklesia
This article will attempt to make some clarifications on the assembly of the ekklesia, the community of believers, either local, or internationally and how they are manifested as the body that Christ. This spiritual organism called the ekklesia will be contrasted with man’s denominational religious corporate organization called church.
The early ekklesia as attested in the New Testament reveals how the body of Christ organized, which is strikingly different to the practiced counterfeit man-driven religion of church today.
The Contrast Between the Type of Witness
The term church must be thrown out entirely for one to comprehend what the ekklesia being built by Christ means. The term church is a double-minded concept to make people associate with a name denominational building where they congregate, sit on pews and go through the template of worship at appointed times dictated by salaried officials. As people herd through the doors, they are indoctrinated into the systematic mold of their brand of Christianity.
In contrast, The New Testament witnesses of the true faith are a spiritual assembly where ALL believers are in one accord with Christ with him anyplace, anywhere and at any time..
The carnal mind needs a physical assembly to affirm their faith in something that manifests for them at a specific appointed time and place. The masses are coerced by their hireling officials to never attempt to abandon the building, because if they do, they are deemed as walking away from Christ who cannot be separated them from the building.
The ekklesia of Christ are NOT part of organized religion. Rather, they are joined together in the name Christ as part of the spiritual assembly of all believers who are in him. All one has to do through the grace of God is to believe and obey the Gospel. It has nothing to do with assembling together in a church building partaking in the rituals of a religious service run by ecclesiastical men.
So those who received his word were baptized, and THERE WERE ADDED THAT DAY about three thousand souls. – Acts 2:41
Physical versus Spiritual
The church is a physical entity found on every other street corner, but the ekklesia are a spiritual entity that exists everywhere continually in Christ. This becomes very clear when the word of God is not read through a denominational lens.
The double-mindedness of the interchangeable word of using church as a building with denominationally segregated people creates confusion.
The organized religions of church is run like a corporate business located on prime pieces of real estate that have budgets, board of directors and salaried officials who pander special programs and services under their own denominational name brands. The active participation of the membership are a requirement for their business to succeed.
The ekklesia are a spiritual community that exists either locally, or internationally that are brought together without the ritual, rites and formalities of the man-driven church system. They may live close to other believers living within a certain locality, or common area where they have personal relationships with others through a common bond of spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom and making disciples.
Where are the ekklesia to be found?
The ekklesia are found according to their witness. They are citizens of the Kingdom of God, meaning that they ALL have a common identity in Christ. It is not about race, gender, location, etc., but they are found in every nation within cities, localities and communities throughout the world who walk in the faith of Christ.
It is the counterfeit church system that must make physical locations as their identifying factors.
For in Christ Jesus NEITHER CIRCUMCISION NOR UNCIRCUMCISION COUNTS FOR ANYTHING, but only faith working through love. – Galatians 5:6
The ekklesia are not a plurality of denominational identities, but are a singular living universal spiritual organism in Christ our Savior. Although they may be identified in certain communities, it has no relevance to a particular building. The ekklesia are not a centralized physical existence, but ONLY in Christ in a spiritual sense. The oneness and unity in Christ is not organizing people together to attend a man-driven church service, but it is a spiritual unity of believers anywhere in one accord having faith in the Gospel, and being obedient to God’s ways in the spirit of being oneness with other believers in Christ, just as Christ is one with his Father.
The ekklesia do not resemble anything like the denominational church members who seek God in temples built with man's hands..
For just as the BODY IS ONE and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are ONE BODY, so it is with Christ. For IN ONE SPIRIT we were all baptized into ONE BODY—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of ONE SPIRIT. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
God sees His ekklesia as scattered remnant throughout the world divided into cities, or localities who have faith in the Gospel of the Kingdom. There are in no special segregated denominational religious groups as Christ does not designate his followers that way. The ekklesia are designated as being in the world, but NOT of the world. They are the "called out ones."
In contrast, the counterfeit church system runs on the principles of the world as special named organizations and 501(c)3 entities.
The distinction is that one walks by the Spirit and the other through human effort.
The ekklesia are not centralized groupings of people, but are referenced to inhabited interpersonal locations, not segregated denominational buildings.
The report of this came to the ears of the EKKLESIA IN JERUSALEM, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. – Acts 11:22
To the EKKLESIA OF GOD THAT IS IN CORINTH, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, CALLED TO BE SAINTS TOGETHER WITH ALL THOSE WHO IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, both their Lord and ours – 1 Corinthians 1:2
Within one locality there may be believers who meet from house to house, but again the only plural use of ekklesia in Scripture pertains to different localities, not those within a building at specific designated geographical locations. The letters written by Paul to the ekklesia communities were referenced to the cities they resided in. The ekklesia were never named, or associated with any formal organized name of a religious building.
To ALL THOSE IN ROME who are loved by God and called to be saints – Romans 1:7
To the EKKLESIA OF THE THESSALONIANS in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Thessalonians 1:1
“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I HAVE MANY IN THIS CITY WHO ARE MY PEOPLE.” – Acts 18:9
John to the seven EKKLESIAIS THAT ARE IN ASIA – Revelation 1:4
The purpose of the ekklesia are to glorify Christ by what he has done.
The segregated indoctrinated denominational minds are blinded to this truth. They are trying to make themselves visible to other men by making a name for themselves. The manifestations are steeples and big signs to lure in masses. Christ never identified any of his disciples according to the organizational structure they attended. The focal point and manifestation of a spiritual community identified in Christ is through family relationships, not canned worship services with the constant passing of the offering plate.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. ALL THE EKKLESIAIS OF CHRIST greet you. – Acts 16:16
A Family of Households
The physical reality of the ekklesia consists of family households who live together within a locality emphasizing and edifying one another in the faith that manifests in love towards one another.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. BY THIS ALL PEOPLE WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YOU HAVE LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.” – John 13:34-35
When Paul addressed the Corinth ekklesia, they were a small decentralized group that met from house to house that encouraged, admonished, prayed and ate together. It should be understood that although they met at a particular person’s house, the representation of the ekklesia as a whole is not represented by the name of the household, or congregation pertaining to a building, but the spiritual unity of being assembled at all times anywhere in Christ 24/7.
Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the HOUSEHOLD OF STEPHANAS were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have DEVOTED THEMSELVES TO THE SERVICE OF THE SAINTS – 1 Corinthians 16:15
The spreading of the Gospel via the ekklesia is an interpersonal communication that is not done through a man-made organizational template, but as an organism that heeds its instructions based on what Christ, the Head tells them to do.
For NO ONE CAN LAY A FOUNDATION OTHER THAN THAT WHICH IS LAID, which is Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 3:11
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are FELLOW CITIZENS with the saints and members of the household of God, BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF BEING THE CORNERSTONE – Ephesians 2:19-20
Organized religion is a much different entity than the ekklesia because it relies on a chain of command through hierarchical structure of authority through many levels of mediators. For it to function, there must be an imposed liturgy put on the masses so their centralized structure and brand name can grow.
But not so with you. Rather, LET THE GREATEST AMONG YOU BECOME AS THE YOUNGEST, AND THE LEADER AS ONE WHO SERVES. – Luke 22:26
But it shall not be so among you. BUT WHOEVER WOULD BE GREAT AMONG YOU MUST BE YOUR SERVANT, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even THE SON OF MAN CAME NOT TO BE SERVED BUT TO SERVE, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:43-45
A Spiritual Organism
The ekklesia is a spiritual organism that functions in a decentralized spiritual dynamic anyplace and anywhere on the basis of their relationship to the Head who is Christ. The Holy Spirit will not work in man’s attempts to organize, but through interpersonal communication of spreading the Gospel with the gifts that God has given each believer. Every believer participates as a functioning citizen of the Kingdom of God with equal access to Christ. There is no requirement to gather as a large meeting of members, have board meetings, or ask the pastor permission to do the work of the Gospel.
From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when EACH PART IS WORKING PROPERLY, MAKES THE BODY GROW SO THAT IT BUILDS ITSELF UP IN LOVE. – Ephesians 4:16
It is through interpersonal relationships that the needs of the ekklesia are met. All the citizens of the Kingdom of God are called to serve. If there is some formal organization required, it is temporary until the need is met as there are no permanent hirelings required to stay on burdening the ekklesia by making a living off their backs.
The man-driven church system is not an organism that serves the community, but are made of members who serve the organization. Members must put in their time and money to support their denominational agenda. This is strikingly different than exercising faith through the love of Christ. This is where the church system utterly fails because they rely on paid professionals to satisfy the needs of the masses rather than they themselves serving to satisfy the needs of others. The subservient church members are not free to access Christ first, but must go through a bunch of political red tape before they are given the okay from their organizational leaders to do anything. Organized religion hinders the process of faith and the outworking of love for a corrupt idolatrous temple system run by men.
The ekklesia are a spiritual organism who are part of a decentralized congregation of saints who are in unity of the Spirit with Christ. They interpersonally serve and communicate with others as they freely live out the Good News in localities throughout the world with the gifting God has given each one of them.
Are you part if a spiritual organism with Christ as the Head, or a physical organization with a hireling who is the Head?
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