Since I haven't posted anything for a month, I have all kinds of things on my mind--very dangerous. Thinking about the "firestorm" I referred to in the Local Church posts, I must say one "meets" all kinds of folks on the internet, even when treading "Christian" territory.
The fellow whose blog post I criticized was one of those internet "friends" so-called. He responded with an email in which he called me 9 kinds of a hypocrite and a bald-faced liar. Jaded as I am, I was seriously taken aback. His main basis for that was that I myself had stated some criticisms of local churches--my own, matter of fact--and therefore ought to be sympathetic to his view which involves discarding the local church and playing at it in one's own house. The essential difference, which apparently zoomed right over his head, is that though I have differences on a couple of issues with the practice (not the doctrine) of my local church, I have not abandoned it. I am active, I teach, I attend, I support the ministries. When I start hiding out here in the woods and pretending that my wife and I constitute a Biblical church, then someone needs to jerk my chain.
Another response to that post was from an anonymous one-trick pony whose hobby horse is the "universal church" versus the "local church" He has determined that the local church is apostate and thus not relevant. Apparently this apostasy relieves all believers from participation in local assemblies, negates all Biblical commandments, etc. Now I'm a believer in what is termed by many the "universal church" I define that as the Body of Christ which is made up of all born-again believers from all time. Local churches have regenerate members (most do, anyway) and unregenerate members. We men cannot accurately separate one from the other. That congregation meeting in the brick building down on Main Street is not the Body of Christ....though, hopefully, some folks there are part of the Body.
And, local congregations in this day and time are a pretty sorry lot. It's tough to find one preaching and teaching pure doctrine and practicing Biblical activities. They are diminished and weakened by the high percentage of unregenerate members. Despite this, God's commandment to participate in local assemblies is not repealed. There is no excuse for any believer to abandon the concept of local churches.