When Does the Church Cease to be the Church?: Duane W.H. Arnold

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10 Responses

  1. pstrmike says:

    Thanks Duane. Much to reflect upon here. I thought of Augustine’s City of God, where the city of man and city of God are in simultaneous operation, sometimes moving in parallel planes, sometimes intertwined.

    The ignorance and arrogance associated around power never ceases to amaze me. It is a fire that very few can handle well, whether it be the leader or those who hope to gain by the warmth of the flames.

    I wonder how often in the church’s history that Jesus has been enough, and by that I mean the devotion, communion and spiritual disciplines that encourage knowing Him and knowing ourselves. It seems that if this was the pursuit of the church, that we would not get caught up in another’s self exaltation, and we would truly have the wisdom to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Well said… I keep thinking about the wheat and the tares. I sometimes wonder what happens when people no longer know the difference and mistake one for the other.

  3. Em says:

    A post we need, Dr. Duane – thank you
    Time moves slowly here on earth – from our perspective, mine at least, God is so slow… That said, mankind is, as God measures time, hurtling toward a brick wall called judgement My mind knows that. I wish my emotions could grasp it.

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    We need to be reminded, that judgement begins with the “household of God”. We’re so busy pointing our finger at those outside the faith, that we pay scant attention to what happens within…

  5. Em says:

    Dr. Duane, point taken…. we (me 😌 ) forget that those outside the Church have only one thing standing between them and God, but the Church answers to God for our every act… and maybe more…
    Did i get your point correct?

    Praying all stay well… and focused. 🙆

  6. Jtk says:

    (1). What do we do with the church in Japan in the 1500s, the subject of “Silence” (Scorsese’s recent film, which I both love and hate).

    (2). Which churches are still meeting?
    Will you name them? I don’t/didn’t know that.

    (3). At SOME POINT, we have to endure the risks and being a church of live bodies. There’s too much in the New Testament that we’d have to excuse away…
    I am NOT saying that is now.

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    1. “Silence” is one of the best films I have ever seen, and the most disturbing. It raised a number of questions without providing many answers…
    2. Just Google “refuses to cancel church services” and look at the news stories.
    3. No, we cannot be a “virtual Church” forever… but as you say, that’s not a change we can make now.

    All in all, we will need to make reasonable decisions, now and in the future, based upon love for God AND love for our neighbor.

  8. Kevin H says:

    Thank you, Duane. This is a hard question that is not easily answered. But it’s a question that needs to be asked.

  9. Jean says:

    Hi Duane,

    Regarding “refuses to cancel church services,”

    When voices exemplified by the likes of Ken Ham have spent their lives denigrating science, it’s not hard to see why such Christians would reject scientific assessments and advice regarding the coronavirus. Add to this the prosperity reading of Scripture, and you have a recipe for disaster. I had a conservative Baptist adjunct professor tell me a couple weeks ago that if you believe the promise in Psalm 91, the plague will not come near you tent.

    The wisest thing I heard this week was wen Speaker Pelosi said that science in the matter of the coronavirus will be the answer to prayer. I have no idea or patience who refuse to give thanks to God for the gift of scientific advancement that he has given mankind and how much good science has done to alleviate human suffering.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    Kevin H and Jean

    Brothers in Arms…

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