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Old 01-23-2018, 10:24 AM   #66
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Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
How many churches are there? 1 or ten thousand?
It is an exercise in semantics. And for the LRC, an exercise in equivocation.

The term "church" has many aspects and is not a singular thing. It is the body of Christ, and in that since is singular universally. But it also refers to each assembly of believers who are part of that body. Those are the extremes of meaning. But that leaves a lot of ground in between (the so-called undistributed middle).

In the middle is any subgroup of those who make up the body of Christ. It is not even necessary that they be a regular part of any assembly (though that is strongly advised against). In that middle ground, it would be correct to refer to either church (singular) or churches (plural) within any particular defined space. There is "church" in any city, state/province, country, or continent because the body of Christ is there. There are also "churches" in any of those to the extent that there are multiple assemblies to be found.

There is nothing in scripture that puts a boundary on anything. It is appropriate to refer to the church in Dallas, meaning the body of Christ (the totality of believers) that are in that city. It is also appropriate to refer to churches in Dallas, meaning the various assemblies that meet there, including the one that uses the name "Church in Dallas."

The LRC insists that there is a prescriptive boundary of an assembly and that this boundary coincides with that of the city in which it is found. But if that is prescriptively true, then there is a problem when those who live in other cities nearby travel across city boundaries to meet in the alleged city-wide church in another city. For example, those in Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, etc., do not have an LSM-branded "local church" in their city, so they travel to Dallas. (It is possible that some of those travel to Irving. Also, I am a little behind on where there are LSM churches here so Richardson or Plano might have their own now.)

In doing so, they negate the much-heralded "unity" with respect to the much larger number of Christians in each of those cities (relative to the number that travel to Dallas) and meet outside of the boundary of their city.

But the truth is that cities have political boundaries. They change over time. Larger cities often absorb smaller cities to improve services within those smaller communities. And none of this is relevant to the makeup of the assemblies that meet to learn about and worship Christ.

I realize that I am not addressing the various points that ZNP has raised, though those are points that the LSM/LRC raises in asserting their faux superiority of position.

But there is no requirement of following anyone, even a so-called MOTA. Paul lamented that so many in Asia had "left me." And by the time of the writing of Revelation, there were some serious problems in some of the cities in Asia Minor. Yet they were still churches. Their lampstands were not removed. Christians still met to learn about and worship Christ. First Nee, then Lee, and now those from the LSM (like those from James) seek to dismiss all who do not follow their way. They tell tales of successions of MOTAs (genealogies) and insist that their faithful pay for standing orders for old materials recycled in new books, reminiscent of sending money for prayer cloths prayed over by radio evangelist (huckster) X.

If it were just about doctrines, I would not become as incensed. But it is also about the enslaving of the minds and pocketbooks of otherwise excellent Christians.
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