Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 in 1

There are two aspects of the Christian Church that are often confused as the same and they are not. One aspect of the church is the Social Institution and the other is the Community of Faith.

The social institution is the legal corporation that has officers, employees, buildings, contracts, and includes all the members, active or not. The institution conducts business and provides services of many kinds, like weddings and funerals. Both members and non-members use the institution much like a social club or government service. A social institution has obligations to its members but not to the world beyond.

The Community of Faith, is made up of active members who love God and truly care for one another. Community of Faith members find ways to help each other, often without being asked. They support the ministry of the church with love in giving time, energy, thought, tithes, and prayers. The community of faith has a primary obligation to God, a secondary obligation to others and a loving obligation to one another. The Christian Community is a shared experience of people bonded together as God's family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ forming the "Body of Christ," blessing everyone.

Some of us belong to both the social institution and the community of faith. Those who participate in the community find our deepest satisfaction in our religious life and our relationship with God and each other. Sadly there are some people who only belong to the social institution and they miss out on the best part of being "Church." 

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