Run of the Mill

In Take Note by Morne Stephanus

While looking at another congregation’s website, I came across a very troubling phrase. In the “about us” section it read: “We’re just a run of the mill church.” For those who may not have heard this phrase before, run of the mill describes something that is: not astounding in quality or rarity (Miriam Webster) or average, commonplace or mediocre (Online Dictionary). Now, I am not going to speculate as to the motives of the ones who put it there and I would encourage the reader to do the same. However, one thing is certain: that phrase does not belong in the catalog of descriptions for the Lord’s church. In fact, it is not only ill-advised, it is in opposition to what God says about His church. The Church of our Lord is not mediocre, it is not even close to being classified as average. The reasons for this are as follows:

The Church of Christ was founded by God. What denomination can claim The Creator of the world as its founder? All other religious institutions in the world were planned and founded by some man. Many patrons of these religious bodies will gladly boast of their founders and will readily give you times and dates of when they were established. However, only the church can accurately and rightly point to God as its founder. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, Ephesians 3:10-11. God purposed and planned His church from eternity. Paul wrote that the Church was in the mind of God before the foundation of the World (Ephesians 1:4). The fact that the church is the only body of believers that can rightly say it was founded by God certainly discredits the idea of it being average.

The Church of Christ was Built by Jesus. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it, Matthew 16:18. Jesus built or established His Kingdom here on earth through His death and subsequent resurrection. Paul told the Ephesian elders to feed the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). When the Lord built His church, He did not ask others to give their lives for the building of it, He sacrificed Himself to that end. Who can rightly claim to have Jesus as the builder and maker of their institution? What religious establishment can search the scriptures and find their origin going hand in hand with the death, burial, resurrection, and accession of Jesus Christ? The only ones who can do such are the called-out believers of Christ. Hence, this is hardly mediocre.

The Church of Christ was prepared by the Holy Spirit. Everything the church needs to be and everything it needs to do was beautifully set forth by the Holy Spirit. The Church of Christ does not have to follow creed books and man-made traditions nor do we have to entrust our spiritual security to the fallible wisdom of man. God sent the Holy Spirit to inspire man to preach and teach the truth. Jesus told His Disciples that the Spirit would guide them into ALL truth (John 16:13). Furthermore, Peter wrote that the scriptures did not proceed from the private interpretations of man (2 Peter 1:20-21). Paul said the following about Holy Writ: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Church in the first century followed only the doctrines of God, given by inspired men (Acts 2:42, cf. Galatians 1:6-9). The Holy Spirit inspired men to write down exactly what God desires from us and the Church of Christ endeavors fervently to follow these instructions. Can the reader perhaps think of any other religious body that speaks where the Bible speaks and is silent where the Bible is silent? I certainly cannot and would argue this very thing sets us apart from “common” religious practices.

The Saved are in the Church. One of the most striking differences between the church and the rest of the world is the condition of our souls. The Bible is crystal clear on where the saved are housed. Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47. Can anyone find an institution or religious organization that houses the saved other than the church? If one searched the Scriptures could we find another passage that speaks of another place where the saved on earth are kept? The answer to these questions is a resounding no. The saved are in the church of Christ or the body of Christ. God proclaimed that He adds those who have obeyed the Gospel to His church. This fact alone sets the church apart from every religious institution whose members are voted or ushered in by man, not God. The Church are those who have been set apart and are called saints (1 Corinthians 1:20), they are a special people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9) and the ones who have an incorruptible inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-4). These descriptions are solely given to the Church you read about in the Bible.

Sadly, some in their lust for worldly approval and quest for a cancerous commonalty often want to underplay the singularity of the Church. This is an exercise in futility. Why any member of The Body would try to convince a lost and dying religious world that we are just like them is beyond my comprehension and contrary to God’s declarations (1 Peter 2:9). The Church of Christ is not a run of the mill church, it is everything to the contrary. There is nothing more sacred, nothing more holy, nothing more important and beautiful than the church that Jesus built. I’m privileged and proud to be called of a citizen of the Kingdom of Christ and I hope you can say the same.

 

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