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I am wondering something about the CPC church. I am wondering if some PC's, if not most, do not adhere to the doctrine of mainstream Christianity - why then is there a "church?" I am a bit perplexed by this considering from what my husband and I have not found in scripture about "thou shalt go to a church." I mean is there something scripture we are missing [overlooking] pertaining attendance to a local church?

 

Any insight is welcomed. I am just trying to sort this out in my own head is all.

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Marni.

 

If you haven't already read through the previous thread here, you might read it to get an idea where some other PC's stand on the issue. I didn't exactly understand your exact question so you might rephrase it if you get no response,

 

Joseph

 

 

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Hi,

 

This is what I think:

 

You can't find "thou shalt go to church;" the Scriptures assume you are already there.

 

They part of a community, a body of believers that Paul often refers to. And certainly the writer of 1,2,3 John was talking to a community of believers.

 

In the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) there are three, if I remember correctly, references to taking an offering or tithe to the temple. In one of those passages it says take your offering to the temple and have a party.

 

The letters of the New Testament were often circular letters that were passed from one believing community (church) to another. The seven letters at the beginning of Revelations were sent to specific churches. And Revelations call them "churches," groups of people gathered around a common belief.

 

Dutch

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Marni.

 

If you haven't already read through the previous thread here, you might read it to get an idea where some other PC's stand on the issue. I didn't exactly understand your exact question so you might rephrase it if you get no response,

 

Joseph

 

I replied in that thread actually - and I get that there are very different views on the concept of why church exists. I am just curious as to why a church is necessary as a whole - if we are The Body. Why these smaller, segregated entities (communities)? To me it divides rather than embraces - and I just do not truly get it from what I have studied from scripture.

Edited by faithdrivenmom
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G'Day faithdrivenmom,

 

I think the consensus of opinion amongst most pcs would be that you don't need to be a part of a Church to be a christian. So why be a part of a church? I think you are right when you say it is not needed if we are 'the body' but I think many people enjoy coming together in fellowship with other believers. Of course, this can be taken to an extreme and become a heirarchical country club like most mainstream churches today with dogmatic creeds and exclusivist doctrine. I guess what I am saying is there is church with a small 'c', a group of adherents to Jesus who enjoy meeting in fellowship and feeling a part of a community, and Church with a big 'C', which is as I described above, the country club!

 

I personally think that the reason there are so many denominations is that there are so many cultures, and so many geographical and socio-economic factors in why a particular branch of the church exists. You are right these denominations divide, and I think there needs to be a strong push towards conciliation and integration of the disparite churches for the Church to be taken seriously. But, again, that doesn't mean that church with a small c should be tarred with this brush of being divisive. I attended a service on the day of Pentecost recently where the local Anglican, Roman Catholic, Uniting(which is Presbyterian/Methodist), Baptist and Pentecostal Churches joined together for a joint service. It was wonderful, as the similarities were embraced, and the differences put aside or treated with respect. Anyway, I digress!

 

As for whether there is scriptural authority to attend church, I think you could mount an argument either way. For instance, in Luke it says of Jesus (as translated in The Message Bible) "As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place." For me, however, it doesn't really matter, as joining together in fellowship seems to be a human trait, whether it be in a sporting environment, or artistic, or academic, one could, for instance, run marathons entirely by yourself and train etc in a solo way, but many choose to joing a running club or an athletics club, as it can inspire and serve as a forum for becoming better. I think that is what church can be, though perhaps not what it is at the moment.

 

I hope this makes sense, probably rambled a wee bit.

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I replied in that thread actually - and I get that there are very different views on the concept of why church exists. I am just curious as to why a church is necessary as a whole - if we are The Body. Why these smaller, segregated entities (communities)? To me it divides rather than embraces - and I just do not truly get it from what I have studied from scripture.

 

Marni,

 

Thanks for the clarification. Phanta Rhea (Don) has done a thread on what he sees to be the real 'body' or church purpose here. It is really a wonderful work.

It seems to me since we are all part of One that if we are to peacefully coexist together in this world, we need to come together and (what better than small communities where each can be heard) and dialog with each other and find out that which is meaningful or of value to each and create common purposes that promote unity and direction among us.

 

Small communities that work together for the common good and that are inclusive of all religions and belief systems are what we are talking about. Smaller communities need not be segregated but keeping them small makes it more personal and more in line with neighbor helping neighbor and fulfilling the teachings of Jesus. It doesn't have to be called a church at all. Just a neighborhood gathering. Progressive Christianity is not a church per Se. TCPC is a center with affiliated churches that share in agreement the commonality of the 8 points listed on this site.

 

The mission of The Center for Progressive Christianity is:» To reach out to those for whom organized religion has proved ineffectual, irrelevant, or repressive, as well as to those who have given up on or are unacquainted with it.

 

» To uphold evangelism as an agent of justice and peace.

 

» To give a strong voice both in the churches and the public arena to the advocates of progressive Christianity .

 

» To support those who embrace the search, not certainty

 

 

Many progressives view the scriptures differently than fundamental Christianity. There are other threads that express the views concerning this by SOME progressives but there is no doctrine or dogma by progressives that is fixed as is typical of most churches. There is only the 8 points of TCPC that we hold in common. If you study those points you may see why this makes or promotes unity rather than division.

 

Joseph

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