Chapter 6 the Church: Does God Believe In Organized Religion?
“I don’t believe in organized religion” is one of those phrases that sounds smart but is actually dumb.
Like “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” a phrase which even Ryan O’Neal made fun of in the movie, “What’s Up Doc?” just two years after he starred in the movie “Love Story.”
But ask yourself: what system in the world does not have some semblance of organization? Imagine a school system or the military without organization. Any and every business has some form of organization, even Google where the late-bloomer hippie employees go to work barefoot.
Even families and households have some form of rules and decorum. You can’t just walk up to some strange house and take up residence there just because you like their neighborhood or social income. Any system without some form of structure will fail due to chaos.
God has a purpose in “organized religion.” God is a God of order (1 Cor. 14:33). First Baptist Killeen has structure and problems, rules and hassles, systems and faults. But that does not mean that God cannot use us or any church. In fact, God ordains the church to be His primary way to accomplish His purposes on Earth.
The following is a devotional from Zondervan
KEY QUESTION: How does God accomplish his purposes today?
From the very beginning God has had a vision to be with his people in perfect community. When the first two humans — Adam and Eve — rejected this vision and were escorted from the Garden of Eden, God began to unveil a plan to provide the way back. God’s plan consisted of making Abraham’s offspring into a great nation and then into the body of Christ through Abraham’s descendants. Thus the story of Israel pointed people of all nations to the first coming of Christ — and through him to God’s plan to restore a relationship with his people.
As Jesus was nearing his crucifixion, he told the disciples about what was ahead and about their role in accomplishing God’s ultimate vision for the coming kingdom. [Matthew 16:13-19] highlights that God’s plan for believers is still in force; the vision is for believers to come together in a community that continues to this day.
After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, God formed this community, called the church, led by his disciples. The story of the church points people of all nations to the second coming of Christ when he will fully restore the original vision of God.
Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
I believe the church is God’s primary way to accomplish his purposes on earth.
KEY APPLICATION: What difference does this make in the way I live?
•In the body of Christ, you belong to a family focused on all the things of God, which are good, right, and healthy.
•In the body of Christ, you will grow faster in your walk with God. Because of our new identity in Christ, we live to express who we are in Christ, not to prove who we are.
•In the body of Christ, you become a part of a movement larger than yourself.
What is a key phrase that describes the purpose of the Christian church in the world? (If you get stuck, you’ll find some ideas in Ephesians 4:1-16.) Join the discussion today and use the hashtag #BelieveTheStory.