There is one body of believers in Pagosa Springs. One True Church.
This church is comprised of all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
This can be confusing for two reasons. First, there are many groups that call themselves churches that are not churches. And second, the body of believers is spread among many different congregations in our community.
Further, there are those who would add to the qualifications for church membership:
“You are a fellow Christian believer if you do this or that,” they say.
“We are the only true church because we do it this way or that way,” others say.
There are examples of this behavior in the Bible also.
And there are those who throw the door open to any and all beliefs by saying, “There are many ways to heaven. Christ is only one of those.”
That sounds reasonable, of course, (people are always instructing me to be reasonable), but if there was more than one way, I wonder why the disciples of Christ would not have chosen that over the awful deaths they experienced in the name of Christ alone.
I wonder why Christian martyrs would not have chosen to find some other way than the deaths that they have experienced throughout the centuries at the hands of “reasonable” people. I wonder why the persecuted church today would not simply pack it in and find some other way than to suffer and die for the name of Jesus Christ.
Is it possible that they, like me, have recognized that no one but Christ, the only Son of God, was willing to come to earth and to suffer and die for me? That, likewise, I might choose to suffer for the love of the unlovable and lay down my life for the One who has called me by name?
Of course, others are free to choose whatever path they care to, but what they may not do is call themselves “believers” or Christians, or to call themselves a church.
Only by way of the New Testament Church does community live in God’s will. (That is the One True Church — the Church as it is found in the New Testament).
All people have a longing to live in such a community. We do not need another church. We need “the” Church. Politicians cannot move the future. Secular programs or institutions cannot. Only the New Testament Church will move the future away from destruction and toward beloved community.
Further, the New Testament Church already exists in Pagosa Springs as God has seen fit to organize it. We cannot bring the Church into being. We can, however, unify and strengthen the Church that already exists. We can build stronger solidarity between the leaders and the individual believers in our Church.
According to the Bible (Ephesians 4:4 and 5), “There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Why would we want to try to do it any other way?