St. Stephen's Musings

:: St. Stephen's Musings ::

:: Welcome to St. Stephen's Musings :: Bloghome | contact me by email |
Blog Roll
:: St. Stephen's Musings

:: Friday, November 21, 2003 ::

An Orthodox Young Adult Group--Is it a "Home Church"? Part II:

Many modern Christians who fall into our age range would describe our group and our meetings as "church." In fact, for many of them, what we do would be considered the fullness of what it means to be a church.

However, as Jordan Bajis notes in chapter 10 of his brilliant book _Common Ground_, "Bible studies, 'fellowship' nights, prayer meetings, etc. may be *expressions* of the Church, but they are not the Church."

I have long contended that Matthew 18:20 is the most widely misunderstood and misinterpreted "ecclesiastical proof text" in today's Christian culture. There is a subtle but important difference between a necessary and a sufficient cause. "Two or three gathered", while necessary, is not a sufficient ecclesial defining condition. So what else is needed for a gathering to be considered "church"? For starters:

* The centrality of the Bishop/Presybyter
* participation in the Eucharist
* entering into the heavens for worship as given to us by God
* adherence to and continuity with the apostolic deposit of faith

All of these (and many other elements) are also not sufficient, in and of themselves, but are also necessary. As Bajis writes, "To merely gather with Christians is different than to gather in Jesus' name, for to gather in Christ's name is to signify the covenantal and organic understanding of God's bond with His people; � this is the Church.....The experience of Church takes place not at an evangelistic crusade or in a Bible study group (as good as these may be), but when Christians come together as an assembled people [Eucharistically in the historic and apostolic church]."

Part III soon....

:: Karl :: 8:48:00 AM [Link] ::

RSS Feed This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?