DNA is a scientific abbreviation for “Deoxyribonucleic acid.” the National Human Genome Research Institute states that DNA “…contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive and reproduce. To carry out these functions, DNA sequences must be converted into messages that can be used to produce proteins, which are the complex molecules that do most of the work in our bodies.”
Just like the DNA in the human body, we find that the church has DNA. Over the centuries many individuals have attempted to alter the Churches DNA, and some have even denied its existence. However, the reality is that the Bible is very clear about the DNA of God’s Church. Strongs concordance gives the following definition of the word church … “The English word "church" comes from the Greek word kyriakos, "belonging to the Lord" (kyrios). 1577 /ekklēsía ("church") is the root of the terms "ecclesiology" As I read through the Bible I find strong evidence of the churches DNA, the foundation of which is found in creation, and is seen all the way through to the coming of the KING.
I see several intertwining parts of the church that make up the churches DNA. I realize that there are pastors, lay people, theologians, scholars, and people in the pew that will disagree with my view of the essentials of the Church DNA. However, from my study of scripture, if a church is missing one the following parts of the DNA, it has failed to be a true Church of Christ!
Growing up in the Fundamentalist church in Michigan, we were taught the “7 fundamentals of the faith.” the Assemblies of God whom I spent a number of years ministering with have what they refer to as the “16 Tenants of the Faith,” and for a short time I spent time ministering in The Southern Baptist Convention where they list “28 beliefs in their statement of faith.” The following list is mine; I can’t be accountable for anyone else.
I understand from the beginning of this post some are going to be upset, I have left off one of the key beliefs of your denomination, church, or heritage. I can think of a dozen off the top of my head people will yell about; KJV only, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Second Blessing. They will say I didn’t spend any time telling them that Arminius or Calvin was right or wrong, hymns verses courses, and the list will go on and on and on.
So what do I (Dr. Don Allen, Jr PhD) see as the DNA of the Christian Church today.
I. AN EXPECTANCE AND TEACHING OF THE FOUNDATION DOCTRINAL BELIEFS
1) INERRANCY OF THE SCRIPTURE … Simply stated that the original scripture is without error, and that through the translations over the generations we have learned the foundational truths of Christianity.
2) THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST (to the Virgin Mary) … Prior to having any other children, God interceded in a young virgin’s life and blessed her with a child, who would be the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the sacrificed lamb for our sins.
3) THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS AT CALVARY … Christ died on the Cross for my sins, and that he was the perfect sinless a sacrifice for my sin. This being due to the fact that he had no earthly father (God was his father), and therefore was sinless in his nature, or without sin.
4) THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF CHRIST FROM THE GRAVE ON THE THIRD DAY… HE IS ALIVE; he conquered death, the grave, and Hell for my sins. In doing so he showed the devil and the world that I can have a home in heaven.
5) THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST TO HEAVEN TO SIT AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER … He is sitting in judgement, and serving as my advocate. He is talking to the father and reminding him that through his blood stained hands and feet, I’m forgiven, and on that final day of judgement he will show once again that HE paid it all.
6) THAT CHRIST IS RETURNING TO EARTH (Referred to as the 2nd coming of Christ), and there will be a Rapture of the Christians…. I know many deny it will happen, but the reality is clear in scripture that Christ is coming back to earth to claim his own (Those that believe in him as Savior), and at this point he will pour out his judgement on the those that do not.
II. FAITHFUL IN PREACHING AND TEACHING OF THE “GREAT OR GOOD NEWS OF CHRIST”
1) Sadly too many churches have lost their voice in the world. They are focused on workshops, seminars, retreats, encounters. They don’t preach as we were taught in Bible College…“The Book, The Blood, and Blessed Hope”
1) The church has overall lost its power of prayer. We are commanded to pray, to ask for his intercession in our lives and the intercession in others’ lives as well. We are to pray for the Kings, and world leadership (yes even a president we don’t like).We are also told to pray for the pastor of our churches, and most importantly we are to pray for the lost that they will see the truth and trust Christ as Savior.
1) I refuse and don’t have time to debate the merit of only singing hymns in church verses using contemporary courses. The foundational truth is that God told us to worship him in Spirit and Truth. When I sing, which is taught throughout scripture, I bring my heart and mind into his presence and lift up the name of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father and exalt them above every other religion or deity.
1) I loved the Shepherd on Christmas morning saying “I got to tell someone about this.” Within hours after the resurrection of Christ people were a buzz about what had happen, they had to tell someone. Over the generations since the founding of the church, it has been a part of the DNA of Christianity and the Church to say “I got to tell someone.” Sadly, many churches have lost the drive to tell someone. They don’t see it as a necessity; they don’t feel it is their responsibility, and they don’t care if Hell is real or not.
Friends, no matter what your mind set is regarding my list, the reality is that the Christian church has a DNA, and as a whole we need to reclaim it. I know of denominations, churches, and individuals that have denied that the scripture is infallible; I have heard highly respected theologians and scholars state that they can find no evidence outside to the scripture for the virgin birth, crucifixion, or the resurrection.
In Conclusion ... The Christian Churches DNA is not found in the opinion of man, it is found in the very fabric of the Scripture, and the Faith it takes to accept the reality of Loving God who was willing to send his Son (Jesus) to die, conquer death, and sit in judgement of those that refuse to accept what HE has done for them.