For the sake of my assertions, let's recognize that the word "church" is not a super-spiritual word. In Greek, it is "ekklesia" which simply means "called out ones". So essentially, a "church" is merely a called out group of people. For the Cathedral of Hope or any other group of people to call themselves a "church" is fine by me. They can even preach false doctrine and manipulate the Bible to say what they desire it to say. That's fine too. I just hope they (and we) realize that is not the Church of Jesus Christ. I also hope that they realize that they will give and account to God for the masses of people they've influenced by their false teaching. And let's be honest, it is false. Any church whose entire purpose and function is centered on a lifestyle the Bible clearly opposes is a lie no matter how much truth they may be preaching.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declares that He is building His church, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) will not overcome it (prevail against it)." Was Jesus declaring that He's building His church on Peter? No. He's building His church on the revelation that Peter had in the prior verse, and that is the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. We are the church, so the verb "building" doesn't speak to constructing something material, it speaks to "establishing" something eternal. It is imperative we remember in this day and age that there are many people building many churches. There's the Church of Humanism, Socialism, the Homosexual Church, the Church of Capitalism, the Church of Education, the Church of Scientology. These are not the church that Jesus Christ declared He is building. Many churches are being built on the revelation of who Jesus Christ is not. As believers, we need to have Godly discernment to recognize the fruit of the church of Jesus Christ and call the lie for what it is.
In a practical sense, one huge red flag I find *sometimes* is when churches call themselves the "church of christ" or "the church of jesus christ". Usually, if you have to state what you are, instead of just being what you are, there's an insecurity present. Typically, that insecurity exists because you are indeed not what you say you are. This is not always the case. I can hear the comments from COGIC (Church of God in Christ) people already. Don't email me please. I merely use an extreme to prove a point. We must judge what is truly "the church" based on the fruit they produce and the standards we see in the Bible. We must not judge based on what people say, but what they do. I desire to be a part of the church that Jesus Christ is building and nothing else.
A huge burden rests on the believers in Jesus Christ. There should always be a distinction between the church that Jesus is building and every other church. As it stands, we have given a lot of people cause to be confused because many churches have failed to make that distinction. It's time to get rid of the grey areas folks. This is not a game. There are too many lives at stake and my stomach churns to think that people would confuse the "Cathedral of Foolishness" for the "Cathedral of Hope".
Incidentally, should anyone have recommendations on a great Dallas, Bible-teaching (full Bible, not partial :-) church where the spirit of God is always present, shoot it my way.