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Functional Church


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Functional understanding of the church is reflected by the term church as organism. It is intended to see how the church as a community should God’s people who have organized themselves to carry out their functions. According to Avery Dulles, organizations (institutions ) is a model that emphasizes the church as a visible element characteristics of a concrete society, which should have a set of rules, institutions and the leadership of a number of members who accept the rules as a binder for them.

While thinking about the structure of the church in the New Testament text, by Raymond E. Brown is a legacy of the Apostle Paul’s letters, especially the Pastoral Letters to Timothy, Titus, showing the importance of the structure of the church and the Epistle to the Ephesians and Colossians contains a symbolic reflection of the church as the “body of Christ who loved”. For example, Ephesians 2:19 : “So then you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” This verse explicitly reflect the church according to Brown as “family of God”. And institutional aspects of this reflection is reinforced by the next verse, “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone”.

While the description of the church as the “Body of Christ”, as reflected in Ephesians 1:22, “And all things have been placed under His feet, and He has given to the church as head over all things”.
Here we see symbolic depiction of the “Body of Christ” as a collection of people. The main idea that can be drawn from the reflection at the top of that letter to the Ephesians developed the idea of “Body of Christ” as the pressure to appoint the functions of the church in its institutional aspects.

In this case Raymond shows an interpretation of Paul’s letters about “Body of Christ” which is projected into the institutional aspects of the church. Regarding institutional aspects, not explicitly the church as the Body of Christ, however: Our bodies are not an organization but an organism that consists of several organs and living organically. The idea of the church as an organization sufficiently vague and seems to avoid the understanding that the Body of Christ is identical with the church organization. But the “Body of Christ” that can be paired with the “body” into a symbolic expression of the reality of the church as the people who perform functions naturally.

God has executed definitive work of the world’s salvation in Jesus Christ through His coming into the world. Concrete work of salvation was an act of humanity, that God is understood in solidarity with human suffering, as a way of life that are directly involved in Jesus’ suffering as a gesture of solidarity with marginalized groups. It is quite prominent from the attitude and way of life lived that Jesus himself came from a small stratum of the family environment and his social environment – are also common people.

In connection with the church of Jesus Christ as a fiduciary, the basic question that should be clear is what kind of tasks that should be reflected by the church, the kingdom of God is the situation and rescue events, situations and the struggle for peace and justice, management and maintenance of natural, well-being and happiness missed by everyone. Above definition in line with the idea that the church should be done based on the figure of Jesus.

The whole work of Jesus including his passion should be the pattern of the church where functionally to develop critical attitudes toward authority and the moral attitude of the general public. Church in the spirit of morality should prioritize defense function to become a church for the poor and defend the weak, and the willingness to sacrifice. Church comes through the involvement and activities in the process of change in a society where the rule of justice for the common people, working for peace and the preservation of the integrity of creation for the sake of humanity.

The Church must truly understand the nature of the work of Jesus who brings tidings of joy to the poor, the liberation of the oppressed / marginalized by the Gospel of Luke 4:18-19, which contains the message of God’s actions to save people in a concrete and intact. The Church must be critical because critical attitude is the attitude of the original Jesus “. In the consciousness of the church as a movement of the people is no longer allied with the ruling, oppressing the people.

From the point of cosmology, the world is becoming of the universe that humanity shelter, or from the point of becoming the venue for the historical civilization. Understanding the relationship of the church and the world is not understood as a relationship between two domains in which the world is “outside ” the church. For if the world is meant as a place of shelter and human beings into the stage of history of civilization, the church including the world. The relationship between the church and the world is first of all reflect two patterns in human life. As formulated that field separation was drawn between those in favor of the Kingdom of God and are hostile to the kingdom of God. For us the location of the relationship of the church and the world, or vice versa, there is the human.

Life of the church is involved in the renewal of the world is concerned church functions for human life, that is how to be faithful means to live and to realize their faith in daily life in the concrete world. The purpose of the church is not himself but for the sake of faith, the faithful relationship with Christ. However, awareness of the new faith became real when translated into everyday life. Faith is action, not talk. Human action that makes a human being human. Church involved the renewal of the world in order to function as a sign and instrument of salvation for the world. As Christ for the sake of the kingdom of God and solidarity as well as critically involved in the real conditions of human life, so should the attitude of the church.

In the context of the renewal of the world into the church’s involvement, it refers to the context of modern civilization, in which one of the symptoms of modern society are given the critical notes and a reminder of the existence of the church is the image of man. Cherished human values have now been following the “market price” based on the criteria of human resources. The criteria adopted from the industrial world that gives an indication of how modern humans are treated. Humans can only be valuable if it productive as a productive machine or tool. As a result, modern-day practice will only create exploiting and exploited as a common event.

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