I have a few protestant friends that believe that church means only 2 or more people together worshiping, studying or praying to Jesus/God. They say that the insitutional churches are not necessary. How can I defend this?
[quote=emom]I have a few protestant friends that believe that church means only 2 or more people together worshiping, studying or praying to Jesus/God. They say that the insitutional churches are not necessary. How can I defend this?
I am a protestant and I beg to differ with their opinion. I do believe that wherever 2 or more are gathered in Christ’s name that His presence is there.
Let me give you a background. One of the main beliefs of the protestant Church is that we have direct access to Jesus Christ through belief in Him (what belief is would be a HUGE post, but let’s just say living a life of faith and imitating His lifestyle). When we accept Christ we become adopted sons and daughters of God. The Church is defined in Timothy as God’s Household and as we are now sons and daughters we are part of that House and Christ is the cornerstone. This is the idea of an invisible Church.
Now does this mean because there is an invisible Church that there is no need for a visible one? NO! All the disciples built up Churches. They had Pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, etc. A visible Church is important for so many reasons. Education is one, fellowship is another, worship a third, etc. I do believe that an actual Church can be small and not even have ten people there but there is a structure. I don’t believe a Church has to be in a building (the early disciples met outside the Temple).
So, is Christ’s presence there? Yes! But we still need an institution for growth.
Mind you again this is a protestant point of view. The Catholic view will be much different
“19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,
20 ** built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone**”