If you are around ministry for long, you will hear the heresy know as “the local church.” It is something that many talk about, write about, and even sing about but it is still not biblical. Just this morning, Rick Warren was tweeting about it.
I respect Rick Warren, Jack Hayford and the others but they are the Jesus, Peter or Paul. The books they write are not canonized and they are part of the New Testament. The bible talks very little, if at all, about local churches. The issue has theological problems all over it. I do mean, all over it and through it too.
At the core of this discussion is thinking patterns. We have yet to repent (change your life by changing your mind) of cultural norms that we hold. For generations, we believe that everything must be local to us. This was because moving products and services large distances are just not possible. Everyone bought and sold from local shops out of need. How we saw church was no different. This is why a town can have a few hundred small places called the local church.
Times have changed and people think more regional and national now. It is not uncommon for us to buy things from New York and get services from California. Our spirituality is no different,. We have at our fingertips teaching from all over the world and we are not limited to what is possible in our locality. It is a game changer.
Why Local Church is heresy
The whole idea goes against the nature of the gospel and the Bride of Christ. If we believe in the local church, how many brides does Jesus actually have? Millions? The Bible only talks about one Bride, the Bride of Christ. If that is true, there is only one Church as well: the global Church. The believers in the underground meetings in China, the worshippers in Toronto and the intercessors in Kansas City are all expression of one Church. Anything less than this is starting down the road of being heretical in nature.
It is an old wineskin that was about about being biblical but being practical. The need has disappeared and with that, the wineskins has been broken. The old concept of a local church down the street with a resident pastor and all the programs focused on local members is outdated and no longer needed in the information age we live in.
Prophets have been speaking about this for centuries. Think about this: We are living in the moment that prophets have been dreaming about for five centuries or more. We want to live where they were out of need. They want to live where we can live out of want.
One of my heroes is none other than Count Zinzendorf. He preached in the 1700’s about the world being his church. This was back when people could not communicate with the next village easily. He saw something in the future. We live in that future.
John Wesley got this vision from Zinzendorf and believed that the world was his parish. Again, he was two centuries too early but he saw into the future that we live in and live among. We are that future!
Local Church is a dying doctrine
The supply chain of spirituality has expanded and with the wineskin expands, it breaks. We have a new wineskin! Our spiritual understanding might come from Redding, California as well as Toronto, Canada. We live in a time that we can receive whatever stage of life we are in quickly and do not have to rely on a pastor or another ministry. The “middleman” (local pastor) has been taken out of the picture.
The other day, I attended a church in California that was teaching on healing ministry as well as a church in North Carolina that was preaching on the prophetic. I did it all in real time without even leaving Starbucks. This is the power of the times that we live in and are among. The internet really did change everything.
I understand that many pastors do not like this new wineskin and many are preaching against it. The reason is it is a threat to their own survival as a paid hack for Jesus. The level of importance that a pastors plays in people’s spiritual life has reduced as the need for the local church has been exposed. Pastors are worried because it is causing issues with their financials.
Rethinking Church Planting
When we realize the time in which we live, we need to re-think how we view church planting. We need to quit think locally and start thinking nationally and globally. Are you looking to plant a local church or do you have the vision to plant a mega-church? We need to be thinking national impact from the first service we have. People perish for the lack of vision or the lack of foresight for revival in the nation.
As the heresy of the local church is more exposed, we will see more and more people thinking globally and seeing the world as a global village. When this happens, we will be better ready for the greatest revival known to man: the one billion soul harvest.
Most Christians just do not have the capacity for it yet. They are still thinking in the local mindset. The ability for the anointing to expand is beyond anything we can see with our own eyes. A outbreak in Nigeria can be seen globally within seconds. Moves of God can air around the world via God TV. This is the spiritual game changer in our generation.