What's the Matter With the Church?
Kenneth A. Frazier
"And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1: 22, 23).
Ponder seriously those inspired words, my friend. Of all the wondrous w o r k s of God none is greater t h a n the body of Christ, the fullness of the Son of God. The word "fullness" indicates completeness or fulfillment. The church (or body) then, is the fullness of Christ. This cannot be said about any other institution or unit in all the world. Through Christ God gave the church responsibility of holding forth the word of life (Phil. 2: 16), of declaring the unsearchable riches of the gospel of Christ (Eph. 3:10).
Several years ago brother H. A. Dixon wrote about the church. He had this to say about it:
"If the Bible had ordered Christians to carry on their work with no suggestion of the institution through which it might be done, we would raise no cry against the Missionary Society, Christian Endeavor Societies, or Ladies' Aid Societies. However, the Lord, who gave himself for the church, desires that glory be unto him in it throughout all ages (Eph. 3:21). Organizations which take over the work of the church take away the opportunity of giving God the glory."
In recent years serious and grave departures from the New Testament pattern have come about. Brethren with good intentions have neglected to glorify God in the church, but have built themselves human organizations through which they suppose to do what God wants done. This is a reflection upon God. Paul said the fullness of Christ is in the church! What's the matter with the church? What is there to do that cannot be done in the church? The Gospel Press is one example of a human organization set up to preach the gospel. Now they solicit funds from individuals AND churches to carry on their program of work. Again, let me ask, "What's the matter with the church?" Did God know what he was talking about when he declared that the fullness of His Son is to be found in the church?
In more recent times the church (White's Ferry Road) in West Monroe, La. has undertaken a program of worldwide radio preaching. They act as the collecting and promoting agency to do the work. In their promotional literature received just a few days ago they enclosed a check to be used to make contribution to World Radio. Across the left end of this check is to be found this name: "WORLD WIDE MISSIONARY A N D EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, 104 Fern Street' West Monroe, Louisiana." NOW, let me ask again "What's the Matter with the church?" If God knew what he was doing when he planned the church BEFORE the foundation of the world, why do brethren need anything else but the church? Why all these "Missionary foundations" to carry out a work?
THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE. God's plan for the church is not enough for them. To do what they want to do they must go out of the New Testament. For clearly the New Testament does not authorize any such organization or any such arrangement for preaching the gospel.
Recognizing the Roman Catholic Church with its hierarchy as unscriptural; let us ask, "HOW DID IT COME TO BE?" Did all of this (Pope, cardinals, councils, Bishops, and such like) come into existence overnight? CERTAINLY NOT! Now if you wanted to lead the church of the Lord down the same road to develop the same kind of organization as the Roman Catholic Church, how would you go about it? The devil knows his business (2 Cor. 2:11). He knows that the best way to corrupt the church is by small and seemingly insignificant changes or departures. Oh how we need watchmen on the walls of Zion today! Watchmen who will cry against all departures from the inspired word of God. Whether brethren are sincere or not does not change the effect of what they are doing to the body of Christ.
In the New Testament each congregation is independent and self-sufficient. There is no organization larger than the elders and deacons of the local church (1 Pet. 5:1, 2). BRETHREN! Lets glorify God in the church!
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 6, p. 9 March 1966