In this first part of a lecture given at a Worldview Conference a few years ago, Gary discusses legacy and responsibility.
The church is a government ordained by God. It has rulers (overseers/elders: 1 Tim. 3:1–7), members (flock: Acts 20:28), laws (goodness of God’s law: 1 Tim. 1:5–11), sanctions (“removed from your midst”: 1 Cor. 5:2), and a legacy (“the gates of Hades will not overpower it”: Matt. 16:18). When a dispute arises among Christians, Jesus said, “tell the church”:
If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the church. If he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven (Matt. 18:15–18).
For too many Christians as well as politicians, the Church is viewed more as a voluntary association than a government. In biblical terms, however, the church is a government. When the phrase “separation of church and state” was used by John Calvin, Martin Luther, and other pre-constitutional theorists, it had the meaning of governmental or jurisdictional separation.
Like the family, the church is a divinely ordained institution. The State does not create the church and therefore cannot define it. The church is not a New Testament creation, contrary to what some theologians claim. The New Testament ekklēsia is an extension of the Old Testament ekklēsia (Acts 5:11). We learn from Acts 7:38 that the “church” (ekklēsia) was “in the wilderness.” The first church (ekklēsia) was in Jerusalem (8:1–3) and consisted mostly of Jews. The more accurate translation of ekklēsia is “congregation” or “assembly.”
The Old Testament church is not theologically distinct from the New Testament church when it comes to jurisdictional operation and separation.
Restoring the Foundation of Civilization
There are many Christians who will not participate in civilization-building efforts that include economics, journalism, politics, education, and science because they believe (or have been taught to believe) these areas of thought are outside the realm of what constitutes a Christian worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth.Buy Now
In this first part of a lecture given at a Worldview Conference a few years ago, Gary discusses legacy and responsibility. Not all of us are gifted in the same ways, but God has a purpose for every member of His church. Some are hands; some are feet; and some are neither of those. Our talents and skills should be used to expand God’s Kingdom, but this can’t happen until people are willing to step out of their comfort zones in faith.