The Church Myth

When backed into a corner, almost every denomination will tell you that there is no Christian basis for calling the building where they conduct their meetings a church. No one wants to take the blame for starting this ridiculous myth, but almost everyone seems prepared to perpetuate it.
When they're not calling building churches, they are calling religious clubs churches. "What church do you belong to?" is one of the first exchanges when religious people meet. Some very progressive church-goers have a concept of all the buildings and all the denominations combined being the "church". But they are wrong.
When factions started in Bible times, St. Paul wrote, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptised in the name of Paul?" (1 Corinthians 1:12-13) As long as people are identified by denominational loyalties, they are not Christians. A Christian has but only one loyalty and that is to Christ.
Christ did not come to start a religion. He came to announce that God is capable of reading the thoughts and intentions of every heart and can judge each person according to their own honesty and sincerity.

When a woman argued with Christ about which synagogue was the right one to attend, Jesus said, "The hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father in spirit or in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit..." (John 4:21-24)

Religious people too often put their faith in what they can see. They like to be able to package things up into neat little boxes. It is easier to accept or reject people on the basis of a denominational title than it is to honestly listen to them as individuals.

To Nicodemus, Jesus said, The wind blows where it likes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)And to the religious leaders Jesus said, "The kingdom of God does not come through observation; neither shall they say, Come here! or Go there! for the kingdom of God is within you."(Luke 17:20-21)

Jesus also preached that, unless we become like little children and start all over again with non-religious concepts of spiritual matters we won't be able to see his kingdom, or church, at all. (John 3:3)

Speaking of the period just before he returns to earth, he said that there would be many religious leaders claiming to have God's anointing (Mat. 24:4-5), and they would teach that the way to find Christ is to come to where they meet. (Mat. 24:23-26) His instructions are: "Don't follow them."

Bible References:

1 Corinthians1:12-13: Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
John 4:21-24: Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 3:8: The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

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John 17:20-21: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Matthew 24:4-5:And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:23-26: Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

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