By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil
There are two groups of Christian communities. First is a set of people that join together and 'creates? an organization (fellowship) for prayer or for other social activities. They choose a name for such a community and create a set of rules for its existence. This is based on the contractual agreement (written or verbal) between the members. Members choose the administrators. Members can end the organization in the same manner it was created.
The second group is an organic society (e.g. our family). Here the family members are not chosen from the public. Neither was our father or mother chosen. By birth we belong to the family. Just like this, the church is the family of God. We become a part of it by baptism. What birth is to a family is what baptism is to the church.
Therefore, the church is not created and belongs to our Lord. Only when you belong to the family of the Church, which was built by Jesus, and when you submit to the doctrines and rules established by Jesus and the apostles, you become a part of Jesus Christ.
One has to become His family member. His family is the church. Therefore become a member of the church He has established.
Submit to the rules of the family, (which is the church) established by Jesus Christ and later nourished by the disciples.
If a Christian community or fellowship cannot show their lineage from Jesus Christ and later from the apostles (apostolic succession), one doesn?t have the right to call themselves members of the "church". Some realize this and calls themselves a Group, Assembly, Fellowship, temple etc. Others know this fact but still use the name church. Putting it another way, the church should have apostolic succession and should believe and obey all of the apostolic doctrines (apostolic traditions).
TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Section 2 (Q 27-56) | Section 3 (Q 57-81) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
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