A Christ-like Identity
We all have identities. An identity defines who or what a person or thing is. Every human carries within themselves a perception of who and what they are.
When we are baptized into the body of Christ, we bury an old identity and take on a new one – a new man. In other words, we have a spiritual identity defined by who and what Christ is.
In short, the body of Christ should reflect this identity. The Christ-likeness that the Apostle Paul spoke of particularly in his letters to the Corinthians. With a little help from Satan, the Church of God has struggled with this identity issue over the years.
Our experience through the passage of time following the death of Mr. Armstrong led us to see that church government was not functioning in such a way as to promote the unity we read of in scripture. Rather it built walls between groups and people. Our goal was to lower boundaries and provide good food for whatever part of Christ’s flock we are able to serve. We try not to promote a group identity, but rather see the Church in terms of a spiritual body. This body overarches Church boundaries artificially set up by the government that groups adopt. We see Church government in terms of the principles established by the Elohim family model.
Our vision is the unified spiritual body prepared as the Bride of Christ.
Our mission is to spiritually nurture the church family, not as a physical organization but as a spiritual organism.
In recent discussions, the Council of TFC spent time looking at our foundations to see if we were still on-track with our original goals. We have stated on our website the vision and mission statements that we hope will exemplify the identity of Christ throughout our fellowship. Here are those statements:
Herbert Armstrong often reiterated that the Church was a spiritual organism, not an organization. Apparently not everyone understood what he meant. An organism can be defined in these terms:
A whole with interdependent parts, likened to a living being.
This is exactly what the body of Christ is to look like. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27). When we were baptized, we were baptized into one body and we all share the commonality of one Spirit. In other words, a whole with interdependent parts.
The Father’s Call strives to be part of the body of Christ. In order to be effective at doing that, each member has to accept that their identity of who and what they are is not a physical identity, but a spiritual one.
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).
Let us strive to develop a Christ-like identity.