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					Church, Interrupted "It cannot be too often reiterated that the primary emphasis on the
Church as an institution with creeds, sacraments and "orders," blocks at least at present
the way to give first rank to the Church as an ever renewed adventure of faith, a response
to God's great acts of salvation, redemption and reconciliation. The Church is not an end
in itself, but a means to an end."
- Hendrik Kraemer WHAT IS THE CHURCH if not a response to the "great acts of
  God"? The church, the means to, and the great vehicle for and of, God, stands, and has
  stood for two millennia, on foundational rock of Christ. Nothing has endured like it,
  other than say the other major world religion traditions. Yet, I am astounded to hear,
  read of, and witness first-hand the travesties of the humanising of the church. At some
  point, for some believers in Christ, there is a time when their faith goes askew from the
  core teaching of Christ into the 'creeds, sacraments and orders' of human tradition -- at
  least the tradition of human/God tradition. The danger is when groups of people in
  leadership, in the same area, start to think in similar unbiblical ways and church
  becomes more than it was ever designed for. It's not that they can't found their ideas in
  biblical concepts. They isolate a few biblical concepts to support their position. The
  church is a means to an end. The end is God, of course. Whether we think experience
  with God, the tradition of exalting him, or his Word are the important things, it is he
  who commands our attention and it is living toward his will for our time on earth that is
  paramount. Church is not really what it's about. Church simply mobilises the Christian
  faith, for growth, for witness, and for the integrity of the risen Christ. If we constantly
  seek Christ in our experience with the church, he will show us the way. The way is of
  character forming and development: discipleship in one word. I know there is worship,
  fellowship, ministry and evangelism to cater for too, but what does Christ command
  more than anything in his main teaching, the Sermon on the Mount/Plain? It's an
  individual calling, whether church or personal, to some salient character traits. Yet, we
  have so-called leaders of the church today (and yesterday) who have not disciplined
  themselves, and do not adhere, to these traits. Does God want to be worshipped? Yes.
  Does God want his people to love each other? Yes. Does God want his people to serve
  him and humankind? Yes. Does he want his church grown? Yes. But, most of all God
  wants all people to come under his power and anointing by being obedient to his main
  calling -- to strive for character development, based in continual, meaningful penitence
  for wrongs as a platform for growth, praise, and thanksgiving. The church has no right
  asserting itself for any other role than to be a salient means to the ultimate end: God.
  Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The LORD is one. He is the only one. Copyright © 2008,
  Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Steve Wickham is a safety and
  health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). An
  advocate for a fair and just life, Steve implements wisdom strategies to his life through
  a passion for Proverbial wisdom. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his
  life, and the lives of others.

				
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posted:8/18/2013
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Marijan Stefanovic Marijan Stefanovic Digital Imagery http://proart-13.blogspot.com/
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