I have had a couple of conversations with another Christian concerning the purpose of the Church, either as an independent body of believers separated from the world, or as citizens of the world popularizing religion and sanctioning its military and government activities. The Biblical idea of Christian separation from the world was established in the 1st Century but the idea of being a participant and citizen of the world, came much later in the 3rd Century; so, are Christians an unchanging body subject to its Master’s verbal and written desires or is the Church subject to an evolutionary process affecting its future belief and character?
The common Church of today, otherwise known as “Christendom”, is the result of its dismantling of the “wall of separation” between the world and the Church allowing unbelievers entry. The question is critical regarding whether professing Christians are “de facto” (i.e., actual,) or Christians “de jure” (i.e., on paper only). Historically, the birth of the popular Church, the Church “de jure” (on paper), in 325 A.D. under the Roman Emperor Constantine, is that Church which we have experienced since Constantine’s appropriation, known today as Catholicism and Protestantism; this is the counterfeit overt Church that is recognized and generally acknowledged by everyone including the State. This false Church is represented in the New Testament as the leaven that leavens to whole lump of dough, 1 Cor 5:6, and the weeds planted among the wheat, Matt. 13:24-29. The false Church has, today, corrupted the entire Church except for some very small ignored, separated, and quiet groups of believers
“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain. Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? ‘Therefore’, come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not those unclean things; and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:1, 14, 17-18.
What then is the conclusion of the verses just quoted above? Six things can be taken away from these words:
- That Paul was addressing a lie that existed within the Corinthian Church and applies equally to the popular Church today.
- That the salvation held by many Christians, then and now, is in vain.
- That these vain “De Jure” Christians are in reality unbelievers.
- That there should be no fellowship with vain or false Christians.
- Therefore, separate yourselves from them and the Churches who violate these rules to prevent being contaminated with their Leaven.
- Only after separation from the world will the Lord receive these “Christians”.
The Church that Constantine established in the 3rd Century, de jure, the “legal” Church, has survived for very many years although its mask has changed several times according to the legality of the land. Likewise, the true Church of the 1st Century has also survived, by hiding from persecution. Every time the true Church raises its head there are those of the popular Church there to restrict or destroy its reemergence. The Anabaptists were the latest to historically preach the despised message of the true Gospel and suffered terribly. Since that time, they have mostly gone underground and become “The quiet in the Land.” Lately, the Spirit has reinvigorated the movement with new blood and youth. The truth may be suppressed for a while but like a forgotten seed, falling to the ground and dying, a renewed persecution holds the promise of future life and abundance.
The true Church will never serve as an instrument of the state’s propaganda, nor will it seek to justify any political force. Even though Democracy appears to be preferable to socialism or a dictatorship God has nothing to do with either, and neither should Christians. The trouble is that the false Church tries to use political power to ensure its own authority and advantage. When it does this, it disavows Christ and His martyrs who were dedicated to God; they wanted to obey God, not men. But what does the Church do? It trades its support for some advantage, money, and title, i.e., mammon. This Gospel is not based on Jesus Christ as the cornerstone but on the power of this world. There is nothing in all this that Satan needs to fear. Consequently, we are witnessing the worldwide failure of Christianity in our time; the “Church” has failed in its mission to spread the Good News even though Church buildings and home Churches are in abundance.
There is so much more that could be said about Christian “separation” from the world, but for those who have ears, that really hear, this should be enough. For those who love their organized, institutional, popular, de jure Christianity they will continue to ignore or twist the plain words of the New Testament. The three main things that will immediately differentiate those who identify with the World’s De Jure Church are their stance on 1. Separation from the world, 2. Non-resistance to the evil person, and 3. Killing their enemy whether national or personal. Of course, there may be others but these three have followed true Christians through time. When persecution has disappeared, we can be sure that something is not right in the Christian camp, and something is not right with us.