The Body of Christ
I think that it’s important for Norm, Johnny and James to understand the expression “the body of Christ”, and how it relates to the church.
First, Norm spoke truthfully last night when he stated that the “body of Christ” (as found in Romans 12:5, 1 Cor 12:27, & Eph 4:12) is not talking about organizations, but individuals. I’m not sure why Norm thinks that people outside his Church of Christ “assembly” disagree with this idea. Could it be because it weakens his argument that only HIS church is the “true” church?
The beautiful thing about the picture that Paul paints is that it reduces us to our one common denominator – Jesus. In the passages referenced above, Paul is using the picture of our all being a part of one body to combat disunity. That Jesus transcends our differences. How does this affect us now? Well, I am a part of the body of Christ, Norm is a part of the body of Christ, ANYONE who is in the church of Christ (universal) is a part of the body of Christ.
Of course, Norm uses Scripture to support his assertion that I am not in the church at all, and so can’t be a part of the body, but it’s simply not the case. I can justify my assertion that I AM a member of the church of Christ, even if I don’t worship at a church that has that title. See, my Presbyterian Church is a part of the church of Christ (universal). My brother’s Baptist Church is a part of the church of Christ (universal). My friend’s Methodist Church is a part of the church of Christ (universal). And what is the common denominator? JESUS, who is the head of my church, my brother’s church, and my friend’s church.
We may differ in the way that we do things, but so do the Churches of Christ! The only difference is, if a Church of Christ starts to interpret Scripture differently (for example, starts using musical instruments in worship), they are labeled apostate by the Churches of Christ, and told that they are going to hell.
How is that being true to the spirit of unity that Paul is promoting?
More to come…