THE UNIVERSAL WIFE
Today there is a foolish, unbiblical and dangerous
idea being promoted in many religious circles. This
idea is just as foolish as is the idea of some kind of universal wife. The
idea is that there is some kind of “church” which is universal and
invisible. Supposedly it includes
all the saved according to those who promote it.
But does the Bible teach such a thing?
Can you find even one verse in the 66 books of the Bible that says that
all the saved are in such a “church?” Can
you find a Bible verse that says that such a universal “church” even exists?
The following is copied from The
Baptist Examiner, July 3, 1948.
the Bible teach that a man’s wife is UNIVERSAL AND INVISIBLE? Well,
let’s see: Eph. 5:23 says: "The
husband is the head of the wife." It
says it just as certain as certain can be. Does
it really mean that such a wife is UNIVERSAL AND INVISIBLE? You
say it does not. But wait and see
what you have done if you decide that such plain language does not mean what it
says. It says very plainly,
"THE HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE." Is
there such a thing in reality as a GREAT BIG UNIVERSAL WIFE who includes all the
little wives? You say NO. Then
what do you mean by quoting the rest of the verse to mean a GREAT BIG UNIVERSAL
CHURCH, when it says that "CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH"?
you it says “The husband is the head of
the WIFE, even as Christ is the head of the CHURCH. The
word EVEN means in the SAME WAY, so let us put the meanings of the words instead
of the words used, which is a good rule for interpretation, and see how it
reads: “The husband is the head of the UNIVERSAL AND INVISIBLE WIFE in the way
as Christ is the head of the UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE CHURCH.” There
you are! Remember the word church
always means CONGREGATION, never anything else. A
congregation is necessarily LOCAL. It
would not be a congregation if it were not LOCAL. So
let us read it as it means: "The husband is the head of the (LOCAL) wife,
even as Christ is the head of the LOCAL congregation." A
congregation is just as local as the wife is. You
cannot conceive of a UNIVERSAL LOCAL WIFE, then why try to make out a UNIVERSAL
family is the foundation of civilization. Does
that mean that there is a UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE FAMILY? You
say NO. Then
when it says, in 1 Tim. 3:15, "The
church is the pillar and the ground of truth," why do you get the idea
that the CHURCH means a UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE CHURCH? As
well try to think of “THE FAMILY” as a great UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE FAMILY.
we say the jury is a safeguard to the citizen’s welfare, do we mean a great
UNIVERSAL JURY? Certainly not. Such
language is easily understood when we consider that when we say THE WIFE or the
FAMILY, or THE JURY or THE CHURCH we use the language in the INSTITUTIONAL
SENSE, viz., the church as an institution, the jury as an institution. The
eagle is king of birds. Do we mean
some great big eagle, a great UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE EAGLE which includes all
little eagles? Certainly not, but
the eagle as a species. When we say
the lion is the king of beasts, do we mean a great big UNIVERSAL LION which
includes all little lions? Certainly
not, but we mean the lion as a species. So
when we speak of THE CHURCH we mean the CHURCH AS AN INSTITUTION. Why
do we easily understand such language when we speak of the FAMILY, and the WIFE,
and the JURY, and the EAGLE, and the LION, and then go wild when we speak of the
church in the same way? The
UNIVERSAL WIFE IS JUST AS SCRIPTURAL AS THE UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE CHURCH.
church is always local and the Bible never uses the word in any other sense than
a LOCAL CONGREGATION. The general
Universal Church idea is essentially a ROMAN CATHOLIC idea copied by many who
think they are opposed to Catholicism. We
should be sure to always use Bible words in the Bible sense and not copy after
Roman Catholics in anything.”
The Bible teaches that salvation is in Christ and
not in being a member of any congregation or religious organization.
Salvation is by grace alone and not through baptism or church membership.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians
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