I believe that there are two ways to discern whether something is a church: the general understanding and the technical understanding of a church. With the general understand, we see in Scripture that Jesus creates His church through people. The church is the people of God with a common belief and understanding of who God is, who worship and pray to God and are called to share His Gospel. One could say that a gathering of any number of believers could maybe be described as a "church" because God's people are there. Therefore in the general way, Chi Alpha is a church because there is a gathering of a number of people sharing a common belief and understanding of God that takes place, not just on the day of service, but throughout the week. The technical understanding of a church is something that Bird gets into on page 735 which he describes that a church needs to fit within the parameters of "one", "holy", "catholic", and "apostolic". I believe that Chi Alpha does meet all of these parameters, although the "oneness" of Chi Alpha is tricky because it is an interdenominational mix where Chi Alpha does not explicitly state that to be considered part of the church one must hold to the same doctrine as Chi Alpha like most denominational churches do. But the "oneness" of Chi Alpha could also be described more as oneness within the body of Christ. I think that it is best for the student who is involved in Chi Alpha to attend, and seek to be involved in, a local church. I think my reasons are mainly practical. Its better for the student to have more of the Gospel and the teachings at the local church will only benefit the student more. I think that even if a student attends a church that deviates from Chi Alpha's beliefs on doctrine, they can still grow in their understanding of the doctrine and it might lead to a healthy discussion of the belief. But I think practically, having more of Jesus is always good so I don't see any reason why a student would not attend a local church.
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Join date : 2018-08-06
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