Did Jesus tell His disciples what was the “mechanical structure” of the church He established? The term “mechanical structure” is a term used by a church history book dealing with the organization of the church; the author of that book say he did not. “He did not tell His disciples what the mechanical structure of the Church was to be…” In fact, “He did not arrange for an organization; He taught the principles upon which it should be built” (The Church in History, B. K. Kuiper, Eerdmans, p. 4, 1964).
The New Testament, however, gives another picture. To begin, the Lord “built” His church (Matthews 16:19-19), and this suggests an organization is in place—unless builders build in an unorganized way! Secondly, the apostle Paul appointed elders in every church (Acts 14:23), and told Titus to do the same on the island of Crete (Titus 1:5). This is second tier leadership in place, after the Lord (cf. 1 Peter 5:1-4). This is clearly associated with structure. Third, when Paul addressed his letter to the church at Philippi, he addressed the elders, deacons, and the whole local church (Philippians 1:1), something that very much indicates there is structure to the local body of Christ. Fourth, Paul said that Christ is the head of the church, and that the head has a body (Ephesians 1:22-23). With these four points in place, do you see any structure?
The importance of this topic is in relation to the misinformation spread by this church-history book concerning church structure or organization (or what he calls “mechanical structure”). It has encouraged a great many people to think there is no local structure to the church when the Holy Spirit very much affirms there is. Consequently, this approach in the church history book invites men to establish man-made churches with its own peculiar organization (structure). This is tremendously unfortunate because it is not in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Spirit.
A great many people want to speak about the time of the year and honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus, but do they really honor Him by altering what His word said on such things like the structure of the church? RT