Dennis Peacocke comments on the current state of the Church

Dennis Peacocke
Dennis Peacocke

In spite of positive spiritual activity in numbers of churches, it is painfully clear that we as believers are miserably failing to obey The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and "disciple nations". They are socially, morally, and economically falling apart around us as church membership decreases and radical secularism increasingly engulfs us. Even if you and yours appear to be ok, biblically, our corporate effect on society is a disaster. Please don't be offended - be actively concerned.

There are several major causes behind our current demise: 1) Fundamental ignorance concerning the historic Gospel of the Kingdom, 2) The world system's values and concerns polluting and "evangelising" our personal worldviews and the cultures of our churches, and 3) Escapist theology that erroneously legitimises our privatised Christianity, rejecting the leavening of the Kingdom within the current world (Matt. 13) and instead focusing on the world system's inevitable corruption as being all-pervasive against Christ's current work of resurrection-transformation, countering its effect within the nations. All these are major points to be addressed with vigour and insight. Yet, a fourth major poison goes largely unseen or diagnosed. That would be the issue of the Church as Christ's ecclesia.

As numbers of you already know, Christ used the Greek word ecclesia to describe the "church" He would build to overcome the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18). Some of you also know that the word ecclesia was commonly known and used throughout the Roman empire as referring to the method of civil governing by political bodies developed by the early Greek city-states. All educated citizens during Jesus' time knew that the ecclesia literally meant the governing assembly being used on all levels throughout the empire. The riot in Ephesus in Acts 19 was a riot of an unruly ecclesia (Acts 19:30,33,39). Because of the word's political implications, when King James authorized the modern printing of the Scriptures, he demanded that ecclesia be translated to church in all cases that denoted the assembly of the saints per se. The connection between the church as a governing body and the clear theology of God's Kingdom is an essential understanding for all truly biblically-equipped theologians, pastors, and all others who presume to be accurately teaching God's Word. Unfortunately, that is not commonly the case, hence our current widespread failure to disciple nations, as I have pointed out in all my books.

I am generally familiar with the practices of many hundreds, if not more, of the current churches and apostolic networks throughout the nations. I know of precious few churches actually, consistently caling their members to a matured governing assembly which has altered their surrounding community on a provable historic basus. I have heard the claims of "transforming our city", but have found such claims to be issue-specific rather than comprehensive, and even obvious to the unbelieving public. So much must be said and done to change this. Who is going to do this?

That is... the bottom line. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.