The following brief excerpt is my response to a social media question, “Church: If Jesus were alive today, what praise and what criticisms would He have about organized religion in the United States?
Of course, Yahshua (Jesus) is alive today and He is expressing Himself through His body (ecclesia/church)! Just how much the organized, institutionalized “church” has departed from the organic, dynamic ecclesia (church) that Yahshua spoke of in the Scriptures can hardly be quantified and measured, but there is definitely a disparity.
There seems to me to be several stark reasons for such a vast difference in the first century ecclesia and what we view today as the modern church.
1 The quenching/grieving and subsequent absence of the Spirit.
2 A misunderstanding of the word, “church”.
3 A rejection of the apostolic and prophetic expressions of the fivefold grace of Christ’s anointing.
Yahshua stated emphatically that the Spirit gives life and the flesh profits nothing in John 6:63. He also mentioned that the Words He speaks are Spirit and life. When Yahshua departed this world and made preparations to leave, He explained to the disciples/apostles that the Father would give them His Spirit to dwell within them so as to navigate this world for the purpose of expressing the Kingdom of Christ on earth as it is in heaven. Today’s highly organized and institutionalized ‘church’ has surveyed the needs of the people instead of the intent of the original designer of the ‘church’. Without the body being rightly joined to the head and all the parts joined and jointed to one another, it cannot function properly and effectively. Consequently, there is no joining without the Spirit. No Spirit- no dynamic!
A cursory view of the Greek New Testament would uncover the fact that the word, ‘church’, didn’t even exist in Yahshua’s day. He would have used the word, ‘ecclesia’ or ‘ekklesia’ a Greek word for convening a legislative body. The reality of the ecclesia of Christ is that it is a gathering of the sons and daughters of Yahweh for the purpose of legislating Kingdom business to express and expand Yahshua’s Kingdom on the earth. So, looking at what the organized and institutionalized church has become, you will see a huge departure and almost total forfeiture of what Yahshua and the apostle Paul were conveying in Scriptures like:
- Matthew 16:18
- Matthew 18:17
- Acts 2:47
- 1 Corinthians 12:28
- Ephesians 1:22
- Ephesians 3:10
- Colossians 1:18
Finally, with the rejection of two-fifths of the Christ anointing by rejecting apostles and prophets today, the organized church has crippled its identity and subsequent functionality in the world today as a change agent. Pastors, teachers and evangelists cannot fully express the Christ anointing and equip the saints in the body without the other two graces. Ephesians 4 has been compromised!