It is any wonder we don’t understand ecclesia. First, do we really ‘get it’ regarding a king? I don’t know about you, I hear little about kings in this day and age except in fairy tales. I know of NO modern, good, benevolent King with a nice Kingdom that people are dying to join. Actually, when I hear of modern ‘kings’, I think of the word ‘dictator’ with associated adjectives such as ‘evil’ and ‘oppressive’. So, we are already starting on the wrong foot.
Now, when we think government, we are at least comfortable with that concept. We elect officials and they represent us in Congress, the Senate or City Hall according to fair (?), just (?) and non-religious laws. Of course, we are now on the second wrong foot. I don’t know about you, but when you take out both of my feet I am pretty much at a stand still and not going anywhere.
And that is just where the church is today, at a stand still. Wait, we are actually walking backwards! We’re losing members, influence and strength. The key log that I am trying to help you see is this. We don’t understand the ecclesia, so we build buildings on street corners that cannot even BE the ecclesia.
Well, what is it? What is the ecclesia?
You are kidding, right?
Yes, you read right.
The ecclesia is the government of the Kingdom.
How do we know this is so?
History – just try a quick Google search. Type in “Ancient History Ecclesia.” Then read. This is not difficult. But, I can’t guarantee you it won’t be painful. This is what you will find.
At the time of Jesus, there were lots of city states that were ruled by, get this: the ecclesia. The male citizens would be ‘called out’ to come together to manage the city in a democratic way. The ecclesia was a form of government of the people by the people. These assemblies looked after social and civic things, all of the common things that you expect the government to handle.
Did the Christians, ‘get it’ – that they were supposed to establish Kingdom government? Yes!
They handled social welfare issues. Check Acts for the first accounts. They took care of their people, widows, orphans, distributing food. The scripture says that there wasn’t a needy person among them. They handled their own civic issues. It would be a shame to take their issues before unbelievers! And, by law they should have taken their cases to the Roman magistrates.. think about that one.
The early believers created spiritual city-states, Kingdom governance right in their midst. Think on this – the Church of Galatia, the Church of Thessalonica, etc. Plus, the believers introduced ‘scandalous’ practices! Everyone KNEW that slaves couldn’t be part of the ecclesia; they were, well, property. And, everyone KNEW that woman couldn’t be part of the ecclesia – they should be at home, pregnant, barefoot and UNEDUCATED. Who WERE these Christians? Woman were part of the ecclesia, and slaves. SCANDALOUS!
Jesus/The King. The Kingdom/his domain. The government is??? http://j.mp/d5VfTf