Sometimes it seems Christians know more about what the church is not than what it is.
The Christian Church is a social unit designed by God.
The economy of the church is distinct from the economy of Babylon.
Sometimes it seems Christians know more about what the church is not than what it is.
The church is defined in Scripture as the people of God. But, who are the people of God but those who make up the church? This definition is not only circular it permits anyone to claim to be a Christian, by claiming to be a member of a church. Or, alternatively, people claim to be part of the church because they identify as Christian.
Imprecise categorization is not biblical. The bible makes it clear there is a sharp line of demarcation between good and evil and between those who are of God and those whose master is Satan. God has given us a clear and objective way to define and categorize the two groups.
Needless to say, it is in the devil’s interest to make the distinction less precise. God has no interest in having those who follow Satan being confused with Christians.
If Christians do not have a quantified way of measuring the size of the church how can we evaluate what we do in terms of building the church? It is in fact extremely important to be able to define the difference between believer and non-believer.
We know from Scripture that the people who believe in Jesus are the body of Christ, otherwise known as the church. But we do not know who a believer is because unlike God we cannot see people’s hearts. We do not know if they truly believe and, in all honesty, we are not clear what faith consists of. We know we are to believe in Jesus but what is the outward sign of this inner change?
The church is people living in and through the power of God as caretakers of the things of God. Building the Church of God is building up the believers in Scripture. This is only possible if we follow Scripture.
Christians create value, for other Christians. The church is the sum of all the wealth created by the people of God for the body of Christ. In this sense the church is an economy or market centered on the people of God. To build the church we need to differentiate the economy of the saved from the economy of the lost
Exchanges create an economy that is self-contained. Fair trade produces a market that produces real value. The church is not just an economy in which Christians build up the body it is a market in which social costs have been eliminated. This is important to realize because the Babylonian system will invariably produce social costs.
The church is not tolerant of social costs or debt. The church does not turn a blind eye to those who put burdens on others they will not themselves lift. The church is a place of equality and of compassion; a place where we are honest with one another.
The church is people who are honest. Building the truth is increasing the proportion of truth that occupies our mind, behaviour and speech. Creating lies destroys others through the generation of social costs as we become parasites and freeloaders.
To be a Christian is to build the church and this is to manifest works done in faith. This might mean bringing more people to God, but it also can mean strengthening the faith of those who already believe.
Without faith we cannot erase the hate and distrust and greed that divide us. Division destroys our capacity to work together and care for the planet. But subjective and narrative descriptions do not give us a scientific methodology for defining the size of the church. Without knowing the size and its growth or lack of it we cannot know if we are living in faith or not.
Without the faith in Jesus that enables us to have faith in each other, we will not overcome the divisive influences of sin that divides us.
If God is Truth and science the search for truth, then theoretically science ought to be the search for God. The church ought to grow both in numbers and spirituality as we approach the source of all truth.
Growth in the church is depicted in the story of the three servants. The wealth given to us, that we have dedicated to God is the measure of the church. We are the church, but it is our wealth that we dedicate to the building up of the body, that determines the rate at which the church will grow. The equity of the church defines the size, scope and extent of the church. This is as practical as it is spiritual, without assets we cannot do the work of God.
The key to understanding Scripture is understanding how to build the Christian church. If we never understand how to build the church, we never understand what the church is and we cannot get a real understanding of Scripture.
The mistake Christians have made is that they did not develop a good understanding as to how to build the church. Most Christians were happy to increase the number of Christians and the size and number of places in which they could go and worship. This has had unfortunate repercussions in the division of Christianity into many sects.
Good works is an outpouring of the spirit in real and concrete ways, the manifestation of which builds the Christian church. This has its corollary in the value of the planet and in a more local way, the community of believers. As the church grows the value of the planet increases. It’s a 1:1 correspondence.
We work at the level of the local congregation. This is why the principle of subsidiarity is important. We do not work as individuals to increase the value of the planet; we have to work together as a body of believers. Value is created in economic activity.
Building the church is as much about separating from the world as about moving in a different direction than the world. Building the church is not just about developing and using new tools it is about divesting oneself of the tools and methods one has been using as part of the world.
The idea about the church being wherever two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus is about a few people starting from ground zero and working out from there to establish a totally distinct culture from that lived before.
Think of conversion as crossing an invisible line. The church of Laodicea has learned the name Jesus and converted in principle, but they have not the world. They are still uncommitted. Building the church requires us to commit to a new set of values. The church is a new cultural experience.
Jesus told the young man who had prepared himself to follow Jesus, all he had to do was sell all he had and follow him. He could not leave his past life. For most of us we are in the same dilemma. We cannot unthinkingly sell everything. Then is it possible to follow Jesus? What does this unburdening of ourselves even mean? The yoke of Jesus is meant to be light, not impossibly burdensome.
The point is that we are to build the church and the church is built not by individual accomplishment and benefit but by corporate success. This is why we must divest ourselves of our assets, especially what the world calls private or commercial goods, those things used to operate a business. Personal possessions are not an issue and in fact the issue is getting rid of these forms of ownership which exclude God.
The key in understanding how Exchanges work to build the church is to understand how Exchanges deal with ownership, specifically how the church fulfills the conditions of ownership as laid out in Scripture.
It is in understanding the nature of ownership that we really begin to understand what building the church entails
Good works build the church, by definition. Full employment is the key to building the church. If people are unemployed or if we permit unemployment, we and they are not building the church. Allowing people to remain unemployed is not part of any good works program or strategy.
If works build the church this ought to be quantifiable. It is by linking the work of building the church with the value of the planet that the work of building the church becomes quantified.
As a practical matter the local church uses the value of the local church as a more scalable metric.
The church must be built as God requires this means one church united not by doctrine but by works done in faith.
We are known by the works we do – not the emotions we feel or the claims we make. Works validate what we do.
Works must be based on empirical measures and quantifiable standards to verify the level of our obedience.
The value of the church serves as an objective measure of our faith. The church is the people of God, but we measure the size of the church by the value we have created for the people of God. This make sense because it is a measure of the works that we do for the people of God.
This is not related to the Prosperity Gospel. Christians do not define what they will get by their prayers. We are not materially rewarded by obeying a minister’s requests. However, the more we help one another the more we will prosper, as a church. Prosperity is predicted to be a result of works done in faith. But this is a collective prosperity a prosperity of the church body, not a personal enrichment.
Christians are a light to the world to the extent they build the church. As a light to the world they become or are a scientific proof of God. Non-believers see God in the power of faith to prosper and build the body of believers. The church manifests God on earth as we work to help each other. This becomes be necessity a conscious effort to create and maintain equality. So long as there is power and wealth disparities between Christians we are missing a chance to build up the church.
The church above all other institutions ought to be focused on ethics. According to Scripture we are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Our focus ought to be on cementing this relationship.
Creating an ethical community requires we all contribute the best as we are able, and this means everyone must have the assets and tools they need. Ethiton requires mutual responsibility and accountability. Each person provides their best in a way that helps others provide their best.
When we work for God, we do not worry about being exploited by others. When we work for God, we do not think about enriching ourselves, we give others what they need because our focus is on building the church, by this we mean increasing value for the body of believers. The focus of God is on the church not on us as individuals. We are part of the body only to the degree we are members of the church. We are members of the church only as we add value to the body. Our salvation is given so we can help others serve God.
The church is the manifestation of God’s Love and Mercy. The whole idea of working for God rather than for humans is so we are focused on doing the best we can without worrying about the risk working for other individuals entails.
The power of capitalism is that if puts people’s attention on others as a necessary precondition to generating benefits for oneself. Capitalism is not a substitute for church but because it approximates the intent of the church it has provided considerable benefits; despite the waste it also produces.
For 6000 years efforts to build the church have been thwarted because Scripture has been rejected in favor of the ideology of entitlements. Democracy is the means by which liberals invalidate property rights and harm our property values.
We are to be equals in the eyes of God. The nature of the church demands uniformity of power among the people of God. The church cannot contain conflict and mistrust. We cannot despise or misuse or even mistrust each other. The church is not composed of nor can it be built on tyranny and subversion. We need faith not just in Jesus but in his people. We must have faith in each other to have faith in God. Christian faith is meaningless without faith in each other. How is it possible to have faith in Christ if we mistrust those whom he loves?
The mission of the believer is to build the church. There is only one way to build the church and that is by the guidelines as laid down in Scripture. Scripture tells us we must have works of faith. These works of faith have their corollary in the formation of the church. If we exhibit faith in Jesus and do His Will we will build up our part of the Christian church.
It takes only a few people to build a church or what is called here, an Exchange to avert any confusion with the club form of church currently in vogue. Exchanges are formed when people help one another in practical, that is useful ways. Churches are works that build up the values of the property of the people of God. The key to building the church by being accountable to others for the costs one creates. This necessitates a free market. A free market keeps us honest about costs.
All Scripture is valuable. 2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Yet, one verse stands out as being of central importance.
This crucial teaching is Matthew 7:12-14. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The importance of Mat. 7:12-14 rests on its teaching of two gates. Scripture affirms there are two paths open to us. Scripture instructs us to go by way of the strait gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction.
The importance of this teaching is that it tells us in no uncertain terms we have only two options; we can add to the Greater Good or we can subtract from it.
The people one these two paths are referred to in Scripture as the sheep and goats. There are those who are saved and those destined for damnation. There is no purgatory or holding cell or existential void or phantom zone. One creating the Greater Good or not.
The bible tells us by our fruits we are known. We are not known by protestations of faith. Jesus tells us a story of two sons, one who said all the right things but did not do what he was supposed to do and another who said the wrong things yet repented, and his works spoke for him. One added to the Greater Good one did not.
We cannot avoid the reality that we must act and that each act adds value or consumes value. There is nothing we can do that does not expend energy and impact the world in some way. Even our death adds to the Greater good or not depending on the value our life represented to the world. Everything we do has consequences. Whether it is by action or inaction, whether it is an act of commission or omission, every action contributes to the Greater Good or subtracts from it.
Think of life as an account. This account can be called our ledger page in the Book of Life. The Book of Life is a record of the Greater Good. Our account is either in the red or black, according to the Greater Good.
In bookkeeping there are no middle or grey areas, every entry is a credit or a debit. The balance in the ledger is either a positive or negative sum. So, it is with life, we add value or we subtract value.
We have unlimited ways to waste what we do, we have only a narrow range of ways of adding to the Greater Good. Unless we can determine the value of our actions how do we know if our account is in good standing?
The left is evil, period. The left is not just wrong, the left is wrong in the worst possible way. This is not up for debate, the political and economic left is the same as political and economic evil. (A = A). Evil and left are virtual synonyms. The very attributes that define the left defines evil. No one can dispute this claim or can do it with anymore success than one can dispute twins look identical.
Check out this great video on What is Evil