The kingdom transcends the church in two ways. It existed before the beginning of the church and will be God's kingly domain throughout eternity. The kingdom is also larger than the church. It represents the ultimate lordship of Christ over all peoples, principalities, and powers. The church, the body of believers, embraces the rule of God. The culture and structure of the church, designed to express kingdom ways, can become brittle and leak the precious wine. These cultural expressions and organized structures, these human creations, need periodic overhaul to assure they remain servants of the kingdom.(Image: slice of the cover of The Upside-Down Kingdom)
. . . . [I]f we view church programs and structures as human creations, not the kingdom itself, we less easily sacralize them. The moment church structures become identical with the kingdom, they rise to sacred heights. The structures of the church reflect and embody the kingdom but are neither the kingdom nor the church itself.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Food for thought: The kingdom, church and its structures
From The Upside-Down Kingdom by Donald Kraybill: