I'm not a formal member of any local church nor do I think our Lord Jesus requires it. It is true that the early Christians met together for worship in house assemblies or congregations but it is obvious that the way the early believers worshipped God and the way many professing believers worship God today are very different both in substance and in style.
The early church believers met together in congregations or house churches but that is far different than what is happening today, for the most part, especially in America. They were first called Christians in Antioch as a kind of disparaging title. These Christians were obedient to the state for the most part except when the state required obedience in matters contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I often ask people the status of their local church. Is it incorporated by the state meaning is it a 501c3 church? If so the implications are not good for the reasons you will find in the links below. Be sure to ask the pastor where you attend if the church is a 501c3. If so then it has entered into a third party contract with the state. An excellent resource to help you discover the truth of church incorporation is www.hushmoney.org.
You must read both articles in the links below to understand that the Lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake here.
It is estimated that about 90% of churches in America are 501c3 incorporated which means they are not following the Lord as they may think but are in disobedience. These 501c3 churches have been muzzled to a large extent and can not speak out on many areas of concern to the Christian faith without violating their contract with the state and risking the loss of their tax exemption.
If the church has been muzzled by their 501c3 status then is it any wonder why they have become so irrelevant and impotent as the late R. J. Rushdoony has said in his writings?
The faithful and true churches today are not mega churches (mega is defined as 2,000+ attendees)but are small congregations often meeting in homes both in China, parts of Europe and in America and other parts of the world where the government and political spies can not so easily monitor and control the Christians. I believe this will become the norm in the not too distant future.
A true church should be able to speak out against any political leader such as Obama who would wage war against Syria for example in favor of the rebels against the Assad regime. The rebels are killing Christians and beheading them but Obama wants to now seek Congressional approval before attacking Syria but his intent is the same. As a puppet president his handlers (i.e. the puppet master telling him what to do) have an evil agenda which may involve the downfall of the United States and the Middle East in order to bring about the New World Order (World Government and World Religion under the Beast system and false prophet)
Any true church or assembly of believers should and does have the right or jurisdiction under the Lord Jesus Christ to speak out and condemn such actions as treasonous and murderous by Christian standards notwithstanding misinterpretions of Romans 13.
Jesus told his disciples: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Amen.
If a Christian or local church avoids teaching something that Christ commands but which the state says is forbidden because it is considered politically incorrect or not in keeping with public policy or if it is not considered correct according to a particular religious denomination who should be obeyed?
The answer is clear.
In the Holy Scriptures we find recorded in Acts 5:29 "We ought to obey God rather than men."
If men who represent the state or the church teach things contrary to God's law word then we are not to obey them. This would be to disobey the Lord Jesus Christ. Today it seems church leaders are more afraid of being in conflict with the state than they are in being in conflict with the Lord they profess to believe and follow.
The apostle Paul said to the Galatians in 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."
The early disciples sealed their blood with their testimony that Christ was Lord not Caesar, that is, the state ruler. In our modern society Caesar would be Congress, the President or a Prime Minister.
Today we must have the same attitude with regards to our mandate to speak freely concerning those things pertaining to the kingdom and this earth as the early believers did.
John the Baptist lost his life not just for what he believed but for what he said to King Herod. Likewise, Paul suffered with beatings, stoning, imprisonment and eventually was put to death for what he believed and taught. "Yes, and all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12
The church in America is weak and impotent today because they are not suffering persecution but times are changing for those who have really counted the cost of what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Below are a few good articles worth reading to challenge your "status quo" thinking. Just copy and paste the links below in your address bar or URL.
People often believe and do things simply because that's just the way it's always been done. This isn't necessarily Biblical thinking.
Paramount to the Christian faith is the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every area of life and thought. With this in mind we must carefully consider what the church is and what the state is and such matters as "formal church membership" which many are quick to advocate without giving thought to what the Bible teaches on this.
Below are just two articles you should read. Most likely you have been deceived in your understanding and practice of your Christian faith. Hopefully this will help UNDECEIVE you.
With blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Here the links to copy and paste into your address bar or URL.
These two articles may not be accurate in every detail but overall they are good and they will give you a fresh perspective on the problem of local church membership.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.
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