“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…” ~ Paul in Philippians 3:8
I do not use the term “organic church” to simply describe another method of doing church. I use the term to help describe the way in which we meet and function. It’s “organic”, natural. I guess I could call it “natural church”. But then that would become just another label for just another method of church. Blarg.
Why would I move my family halfway across the country for just another method of doing church? (I’m not that crazy!) There is absolutely no value in another method. For what we are doing, for what we are a part of, we gave up a lot. We broke our family’s heart. We lost friendships. We surrendered familiarity and security. Why would we do all that for another method? We are not saved by a method. A formula for church is not why Paul and the other apostles gave their lives. A method of doing church is not why the Father sent Jesus. Think about it. Why all the hubbub over a simple method?? When we moved, we had caught a glimpse of something. We had found what we were looking for! What we had found wasn’t organic church. What we had found was Jesus Christ.
The foundation of Christ laid by the workers for the expression into which we were built was powerful. Jesus Christ is who and what we saw and heard and tasted and felt and smelled. We saw that Jesus Christ is alive and well and living in and through His people, the Church! AMEN!! He is Head of His Body. The Church is His expression – His nature expressed on the earth. Oh, it is a beautiful sight to behold. When the Church is living in Christ, Christ is living through His Church. Words escape me right now.
So, I’ll let T. Austin-Sparks talk for a few:
Man has constructed his own interpretations of Christianity and of truth, brought in his own systems and has confused things so much that you really do not know, unless you have clear discernment such as Nehemiah had, what is of God and what is not of God. There are multitudes of good, honest, sincere Christian people who really are in the most awful fog as to what is of God and what is not of God religiously. Man’s religious systems have brought about that confusion and multitudes of honest people believe with all their heart that the thing that they are in is of God, and it is just possible for them to get such an awakening to see the whole thing was man-made and not of God at all; “…much rubbish.” Paul was one of those. Reflect upon his past life, privileges, and inheritances which he at one time believed were so utterly and absolutely of God for him, and that he really was in God’s will. He came to a time when he said: “The things which were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ… for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ”; and yet he was so devoted to all that as a traditional religious system in which he at one time was living as out from God, which had now become merely an outward thing of forms and external laws. He believed, nevertheless, that it was all of God until the light shone, until he saw that in comparison with the fullness of Christ it was refuse. It is a strong word that he uses; the word he uses is “stuff to be flung to the dogs.” Saul of Tarsus throwing his Judaism to the dogs! He did it when he saw Christ. You can never come out of the rubbish until you see Christ.
Ask the Lord to reveal to you the fullness of Christ and you will find things which have gripped and held you become as mere refuse, stuff to be flung to the dogs. There was much rubbish in the place which once represented a clear line of division between what was of God and what was not of God; confusion, mixture. I shall not attempt to apply that more thoroughly. The Lord will have to show us by revelation what the rubbish is, but there is the simple statement and it contains a truth, and you and I will really have to ask the Lord to show us even in religious matters, where man ends and God begins, or where God ends and man begins, so that we shall be delivered from everything that man has imposed or added upon what is of God, and we shall be able to get right down to foundations, the rubbish being removed: and there is a very great deal of ecclesiastical rubbish about in these days that must go. That is a real difficulty in recovering the full testimony of the Lord Jesus.
Paul wouldn’t have thrown away Judaism for another method of doing things. It took seeing the Lord Jesus Christ to break him of that. Only then did he consider it all rubbish. We didn’t leave one system of religion for another religious system, one way of doing church for another method. No, we saw Peerless Worth. We hailed the Rising Sun and extinguished our candle. We felt the Beginning of Summer and discarded our winter garb. We saw Jesus Christ and left all for Him.
“You can never come out of the rubbish until you see Christ. Ask the Lord to reveal to you the fullness of Christ and you will find things which have gripped and held you become as mere refuse, stuff to be flung to the dogs.” Amen.