A note from Pastor Duane:
Body Life by Ray Stedman is considered a classic and has some of the best content in it on what it means and looks like to be the church as the body of Christ. Take a few minutes and read this great excerpt.
- Pastor Duane
Excerpt from Body Life by Ray Stedman
What sort of image does the word church bring to your mind? Does it suggest to you -
• A snooty religious country club, bound by strange, almost secret rituals, traditions and jargon.
• A political action group, waging war on behalf of a social agenda (either to the left or the right).
• A waiting room, where people wait expectantly but rather passively for the next bus to heaven.
• A collection of hypocrites who care more about expensive equipment and buildings than they do about the hurting and hungry in the world.
• A place where religious junkies gather to get their ‘feel good fix’ so they can get through another week.
• A collection of sanctimonious killjoys who want to legislate morality for the rest of the world.”
How can the church be both a source of disillusionment and a source of illumination at the same time? The answer is what we call “the church” is really two churches.
One is selfish, power-hungry, and sinful. The other is loving, forgiving, and Godly. One has a long history of stirring up hatred, conflict, and bloody persecution, all in the name of God and religion. The other has always sought to heal human hurts, break down barriers of race and class, and deliver men and women from their guilt, shame, fear, and ignorance.
One is a false church, a counterfeit, masquerading as Christianity, but whose head is Satan. The other is the true church, founded by Jesus Christ, mirroring His authentic character through acts of love, self-sacrifice, courage, and truth.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the early apostles developed and laid down the pattern of operation intended by the Lord for His body, the church. This timeless pattern, when closely followed, will make the church of any age, of any millennium, the most powerful force on earth!
WANT TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK? Buy it here!