Local or Universal Church: Which is it?
Like all other answer we need, there is only one place to search: that is the bible. It is our only rule of faith (doctrine or what we believe) and practice (conduct or what we do).
Historically, baptists have held to the biblical truth that every church build after the New Testament pattern has an address. This, of course, means that the only kind of church that truly belongs to the Lord is by nature local and visible. The Lord is the head of his kind of a church which is baptistic, autonomous, and congregational, and is perpetuated through church authority.
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
The idea of a universal church is not new; however, it is not 2000 years old, or dating back to the ministry of Christ, which makes it a false doctrine. Promoted by Catholicism, for 1700 years it has developed into one of Satan's most useful devices. The pope is its head and it is perpetuated through the claim of apostolic succession; which, by the way is fabricated and is a failed attempt to imitate the original.
Beware lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition
of men, after the rudiments of the world, and
not after Christ.
Protestantism and modern Baptists have either, bowed to the papacies devilish influence or confused the kingdom with the church teachings. Either way the false teaching of a universal church has no merit in the scriptures. I challenge Baptist of today to seek the whole truth and avoid man made ideologies.
And he gave some, apostles; and some,
prophets; and some, evangelists; and some,
pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come
in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge
of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the
measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every
wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and
cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to