Justin Bieber and the Meaning of Church

I can’t believe I’m actually going to talk about Justin Bieber. Well, not really him fortunately, but something he said. He says he doesn’t have to go to church because he’s got Jesus and you don’t need to go to church. This one will be quick because it also ties into some of the things I said in my last post. It operates on an assumption that being a Christian is believing certain things and about having an individual relationship with Jesus. Like with the last post, religion is bad but Jesus is good except in this case the word religion is actually being defined a bit better. Dan Kimball, who is famous for books like They Like Jesus But Not the Church explains it fairly well.

Here’s my other really simple way of looking at it. By being a Christian, we are a part of the body of Christ – a phrase that appears through the New Testament. The church as a whole is the body of Christ. We are one part. By existing on our own, we are trying to live as one body part, saying that we don’t need the rest (1 Corinthians 12). Another way of saying it: the church by definition is the communion of the followers of Christ. Many individualistic Christians say that they don’t need to go to church because they are the church. No, the fellowship of believers is the church. If you’re not fellowshipping, you’re not even a part of the church, let alone being the church in its entirety. The church is a communal entity and it is that which we are called to. It’s not about me and Jesus. It is about me and Jesus and my millions/billions of brothers and sisters.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.