Paul's Passing Thoughts

Why the Very Premise of Church is a Lie

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 11, 2019

ppt-jpeg4In our new book, “The Church Lie,” Andy Young and I might have fallen a little short with closing all the points in chapter one. I wish I would have read the article I read today before finishing our book because the article supplied the missing finishing touch that I couldn’t put my finger on. Before I share what I read in the article, let me add that the article is an argument for traditional church, so the point made in the article that I want to use is from a pro-church position.

The point that the article made for me follows: family is not a place, it’s a state of being; church is a place, not a family. Hence, church was never a part of the 1st century ekklesia. Your family is a family no matter where any member of the family is located at any given time. Location is irrelevant to anything that defines family. Not so with church; as the article points out well, location, and what is done at that location defines church. The true body of Christ is defined by being God’s literal family produced by the new birth. Therefore, functioning as a literal family is also a doctrinal statement. We are defined as a family, and function like a family.

In said article, the author is bemoaning online church. Why? Because it’s not church. In the article, church is defined by people gathering at a church, and partaking in sacraments and “communion.” Truly being a part of God’s body, according to the article,  requires that you attend a designated place for specific purposes.

Sunday services at most protestant churches already revolve around the pastor’s sermon (often being projected on a screen), void of any sacraments or liturgy that involve the congregations participation…This should not need to be said but here it is: a church is a group of Christians who gather together in a physical space to participate in shared, embodied practices. It’s a lot more than that, too, but it’s not less. Church is inherently physical, tangible, and embodied. In How (Not) to Be Secular, James KA Smith defines the church as a “community of humans in communion.”

“Salvation is only effected by, one might say, our being in communion with God through the community of humans in communion, viz., the church. To depersonalize God is to deny the importance of communion and the community of communion that is the church, home to that meal that is called ‘Communion.’”

Temple worship as a means of obtaining a progressive salvation requires the following: a designated location for partaking in sacraments that atone for ongoing condemnation.

That’s church.


2 Responses

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  1. Ann A. Jones said, on March 15, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    From my experience, if church is family, then the church is the worst dysfunctional family ever. I think of family as a unit where one can grow in safety, be loved no matter what, and be helped to become a better person. It’s a place where you are welcome no matter what you have done. This is not to say that bad behavior is tolerated, but that the family knows the individual can do better and is helped to do that, not berated for failure.

    The churches that I have known that have taken the title of family have been anything but. There is no tolerance for difference, one is bullied for errors, and you are judged harshly for anything outside the “company line.” Once you have erred, you are labelled and never allowed to change. You must be in line with a narrow definition of what the family is, does, thinks and believes.

    I have not seen this be a positive thing. It has forced many people to put on a Sunday morning show of perfection while living in despair at the same time.

    I am so thoroughly disgusted with church at this point in my life that if I go, I need to take a Xanax first. Between the Calvinist type doctrine espoused at most churches, the ignorance of our Bible, the nastiness and selfishness of people who pretend to be family, I am much happier at home, and the people at church are much happier without me. This isn’t comfortable to me at all, but it is better than how I feel when I go. Very sad all around.


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