Saying One Thing and Saying Another – Charles Pogue

Charles Pogue

We have all heard someone say, and probably said it ourselves, “I was confused enough until you said that, and now I am really confused!” Those in the religious error of denominationalism are confused enough without us saying one thing and saying another, and adding to their already befuddled understanding of religious truth. If we say one thing and say another about the church, for instance, we can really cause confusion in an already mistaken world.

Jesus said He would build His church (Mat. 16:18). We have long and correctly pointed out to the religious world that Jesus used the possessive pronoun “My” in Matthew 16:18 to show the church belongs to Him. It is not “our church.” Consequently, we have pointed out in the past that to use the phrase, “our church” is incorrect. Actually, if the members of the Lord’s body are the church then it is both linguistically and doctrinally wrong to refer to “our church.” A thing possessed cannot be both the thing possessed and the possessor of it. That accords with the Scriptures, too, in that we are not our own, but are bought with a price and are God’s (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

If we are the church, the church is Christ’s, then how say some among us, “our church.” For instance, the website of the Oak Forest congregation in Goldsboro, North Carolina, with elders and preacher who ought to know better, has the phrase, “about our church” at least five times on various pages of the site. We are trying to convince the world that the church belongs to Jesus. That truth goes to the exclusivity of the church, the church’s submission to Christ, and to all of those things that are identifying marks of the church. If we say the church belongs to Christ and then say, “our church,” our religious friends are going to be like the poor algebra student who is being helped by another poor algebra student; now he is really lost!

The time was when we in the Lord’s church were very careful about being both specific and accurate in our language. We recognized the errors in the religious world in what they believed and in what they said. We fear some of us are now either untaught or unconcerned about getting the details right. Some would say using the phrase “our church” is no big deal. This writer was one of the few who was concerned with the phrases that led up to this “our church” business. Brethren, it is not our church family either! It is not our congregation! We are the family. Locally, we are the congregation; it is not ours. The thing possessed cannot be both the possession and the possessor principle applies with those kinds of statements, as well. I have no doubt at all that those phrases led up to the egregiously erroneous and false claim of ownership phrase, “our church.”

Where will it end? In as much as the last few years has seen a pooh-poohing of those who seek for authority in all of the things they do and say (Col. 3:17), we just wonder how far many are going to go in making the accusation, “you are binding where God has not bound.” These who are drifting farther and farther away from the things which they have heard (Heb. 2:1); these accusers—are becoming lax, lenient, and are losing their grip on the proper application of New Testament language and behavior that has distinguished the Lord’s church from the churches of man for lo these many years.

Neither you nor I suffered the cruel abuse of the Jewish leaders, or were targets of the emotionally aroused mob calling, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” We did not hang on Calvary’s cross and die for the church. Neither your blood nor mine was the purchase price of the heavenly kingdom instituted on earth as a result of the heavenly message delivered by the apostles beginning at Pentecost. There are no nail prints in your hands or mine. Our sides do not bear the scar of a spear thrust into our bodies even after we were dead, which side gave forth both blood and water. However, Jesus did suffer those things, and He suffered them to be the savior of the body, His body, the church: the church of Christ, not our church!

I have my wife, and Christ has His. Please, let us stop this drifting away from speaking as the Bible speaks, embracing the language of Ashdod instead. Let us stop saying one thing and saying another.

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Author: Editor

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