Give this some serious thought

A World Without Churches

Gaylon Embrey

To suggest doing away with Churches sounds ridiculous. Why it would be almost as bad as doing away with football. Anyway, do not fear. There is no chance of it happening. Yet the idea is interesting to play around with, if only in an idle mind.

When I speak of doing away with Churches I use the word Church advisidly, in its modern definition. By Church I mean "a religious organization uniting in a single legal and administrative body a number of local congregations." By Church I mean a self-perpetuating institutional entity that determines and directs the spiritual life of its membership. By Church I do not mean Christian people considered collectively, but rather the religious INSTITUTION that professing Christians pick and choose and join and support and preach and praise and promote and love. Institutional "Churches" of this type come in a variety of names, forms and formats. They operate on every corner. We would have to be dead not to be aware of their existence, and the vast influence they have in the world.

To do away with Churches of this sort would certainly have serious repercussions. It would be felt quickly in a society with as many Churches as ours. The economic loss alone would be enormous. Thousands would be turned out of a job, most of them unsuited for anything except polite speechmaking. A host of good works programs would also go down the drain. Those who are presently surviving on Church relief would have to look elsewhere for help. The damage in this case would be much the same if other charitable organizations, like the United Fund, the Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, etc., were suddenly dissolved. The question of the moment, however, is not how much damage would the loss of Churches inflict upon society, but rather how much would it hurt true Christianity. What would the Christian faith lose if institutional Churches disappeared? The first to go would naturally be the bona fide "Church members"--those whose religion consists mainly of being affiliated with a nice Church, those whose faith is Church-oriented not Christ-oriented, those whose loyalty is to their Church more than to Christ and the gospel. With no Church system to work for, to work in and on, these poor souls would be utterly lost. But so what? They were lost to begin with and just didn't know it.

If the Churches were removed from the scene what would remain? I presume Christians! This is the interesting part. If the Churches were taken away and the Christians left, we would then have the real "church" in the New Testament sense of the word. What would remain would be the "called out" people of God, the ecclesia of Christ, the saved. Things suddenly would become awfully simple. In each community there would be but two groups of people; those who follow Jesus and those who do not.

A world without Churches? Whoever heard tell of such? To be frank about it, everyone in New Testament times heard tell of such. For they lived in a world without Churches, of the modern definition; and believe it or not they seemed to get along just fine, both with one another and with the Lord. Wouldn't it be nice for things to be that way again?