The church is currently facing a dilemma: What is its purpose in the twenty-first-century? Now of course from a theological perspective, that’s not a difficult question to answer. After all, the biblical construct for a church is that it should be God centred, that it should centre on the worship of God, and that its members should encourage each other in the faith, as well as reach out and share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world.

The problem is, how does it do that, with all the baggage that it has acquired over the centuries? And that baggage includes the establishment of schools, welfare agencies, nursing homes, running cemeteries, etc. etc.

Now, no doubt, many of these organisations would have been started with the best of intentions. Indeed, with the view of proclaiming Christ to the world. But is that what they do today, with all the expectations, restrictions and limitations that have been put on them by governments and by society in general?

Indeed, there is a current debate, that church buildings are there for the community; that the church exists to marry people and to provide cemeteries in which people can be buried; and that it is the churches role to provide welfare and other services to those outside the church.

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, none of those things reflect the churches real purpose at all.

Now obviously, the church has not helped matters, by so engaging with governments and the community that it has lost its way. As a consequence many people no longer recognise what the church is supposed to stand for. So, perhaps, with the increasing pressure from governments and society to become even less than what it is, the time has come for some action. And that action may well include the sale of all church schools, hospitals, nursing homes, welfare agencies, etc., and the ceasing of all wedding and funeral services.

Now that doesn’t mean that the church shouldn’t care for others outside the church. But it certainly shouldn’t do it at the price of losing its God given goals.

Posted: 15th October 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au

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