November 4, 2014 by James Lindquist
Two weeks ago, a pastor friend of mine requested that I write a blog on “The rise and fall of the man-made church.” Any one of you out there could probably write a book on this subject. However, you can be rest assured that if there were nine other similar requests made, there would be 10 different responses as to the content of the article.
That’s not a bad thing and in fact, would be a very good thing. Diversity is what the body should be about. With that said, here is my tenth of what the Holy Spirit shared with me these last two plus weeks during my prayer times and in preparation for this endeavor. This will be a four part series. (I may or may not interject a timely blog on the Mark of the Beast.)
Part I: Defining the term “Church”
What you are reading is my third attempt at starting this blog. Like I said, we could all write a book on this subject. This topic is book worthy because there is so much that we could write about. However, to keep within the space constraints of this blog and still keep it in context, I have to stay out of any rabbit holes, but enough of that and let’s get down to it.
At first glance, we notice right away that the word “rise” would connote an original–or first–starting point from which a man-made church could arise. Conversely, the word “fall” would connote an end point to which the man-made church would eventually fall. You might ask, “OK, what’s your point?” My point is this, “Like a few churches today, they declare to be the true church. Biblically, there is only one true church . However, we do not want to get ahead of ourselves. I’ll cover this next week in Part II: Defining the term “Man-Made.”
And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it [Matthew 16:18 KJV].
To keep this all in the proper context, I choose to define the second half of our object first. Therefore, let’s first ascertain the definition of the word “church.”
The English word “church” is translated from the original Greek word “Ekklesia , meaning an “assembly,” a “congregation,” or the “called out ones .” Therefore, the word “church” is not a building, but is one of people. In other words, the word “church” is the body of Christ, or an assembling or congregation of believers in Christ. I further submit that the body of believers is the Bride of Christ .
Isn’t it funny how most believers today understand the word “church” as being a building? Test it out for yourselves. Ask someone, “To what church do you belong?” Not 100% of the time but invariably they will identify a denomination or building. This is not a biblical understanding of the word “church,” but that’s OK. It’s been part of man’s indoctrination of the man-made church, a usurpation of the one true church of Jesus Christ.
NEXT WEEK: Part II Defining the Term “Man-Made”
In my opinion, I’ll show how man builds his own kingdom through denominational doctrines and creeds. I’ll also show the two main problems with denominationalism. Until then, God bless.
 It would be divisive to name names so I will refrain from mentioning any of them.
 Alternate spelling is “Ecclesia.”
 1 Peter 2:9
 The Bride of Christ is one of those rabbit holes that I talked about that I could easily go down. However, here are a few Scriptures for your edification and study. Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Colossians 1:18, 24; Revelation 19:6-9; Revelation 21:2, 9; just to name a few.