Churches that close their doors to others will eventually close permanently. I have seen this happen with small churches in the “Bible Belt” that were started by families where one family’s legacy thinks they can run the church. These types of churches are the ones that are very picky about whom they let in and try to have preachers that only preach what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.
The Body of Christ, the church, when stagnant like that becomes malnourished in the spirit and will suffer greatly. The Body of Christ, the community, that continues to grow without succumbing to worldly needs and desires will flourish from the growth of the nurturing spirit. The church that is strict on tradition and old legacy will die while a community of believers who grow in Godly values and character build up to the point of expansion and will move throughout the world.
The first Christian Communities had a hard time wherever they went and were closed off but they flourished because of their values and character which emulated the Image of God. Yes there were some zealots within who wanted to battle their oppressors with fists and iron but they died by the sword as Jesus had said they would. Today, the fists and iron are replaced by those unchanging traditions and specific adherence to a specific translation. The people that go into the world with the power of the Holy Spirit share and bear the Fruits of the Spirit upon others and grow.
Doors and Walls are a Barrier
If God meant for a select group of people to shut themselves away then His Word would have never reached the ancient world. The tent of meeting only closed its flaps when there was private counsel otherwise it was always open for the hearing of the Word. The Tabernacle had an area where the priests received the Word but the rest was almost always open. The First Temple shut away the Holy of Holies which separated God from man and gave the Priests control. How similar are those churches who shut their doors well before the service begins and has no one to greet a single soul.
At Path-Way there are no closed doors and we welcome all who wish to hear the Word. We believe in God’s Word reaching the full Community of Believers no matter the denomination. Jesus spoke in the open and only held private counsel with the twelve so why should we exclude anyone who wants or needs to hear the Word.
Brothers and Sisters, we need to share God’s Word in all ways, in all languages, in all the world. Do not succumb to worldly society but the Community of God. His is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Following the examples of the past during and right after the time of Jesus and the Apostles, we can change the world. We need to strive to live for Him who saved and continues to save us and we will complete the earthly process of bringing the Kingdom to all the world.
Rob, Servant of God