If I heard a man talk about my bride the way many christian bloggers and pontificators talk trash about the church, I might be in jail for assault. It seems that the church is to blame for almost everything these days, and one can’t help but come to the conclusion, based on polling data, blogs, and public opinion, that the church is a colossal failure.
The church is the bride of Christ, His treasured, nurtured, object of affection. If the church is a failure, isn’t Jesus Himself a failure? I know the way this works in my marriage, I am accountable before God for my actions. So, when my wife does bad, it’s a reflection on me. Remember the lesson in the garden: Eve ate the fruit, but God came looking for Adam. Is it even possible for the church to fail? Jesus said that the “gates of hell would not prevail against the church.” So, how is it that some think they have?
Or, am I just going to the wrong church? Because I feel like our church experience is both healthy and fruitful. We are growing. We are loving. We are helping people to see and experience Jesus. My guess, is that your church is too.
The church is made up of people,.. flawed, often failing individuals. But the success of the church has never been our responsibility. It’s the responsibility of Jesus, and I’m thankful for that. We live in a fallen world, and one that is getting darker and colder. We are not going to see righteousness prevail on earth apart from the physical return of Christ. Our job is to stand firm, preach the gospel, and make disciples.
It is not, and has never been, to bring heaven to earth. That is not our business.
We should have a higher view of church. Not the individuals, not even the individual gatherings, but of the person of the church as a whole. I believe that we are who Jesus is making us into being. He is still God, still on the throne, and still at work. He’s still quite able to fashion us as He sees fit. Be careful when you see the acts of individuals, and even groups, but then draw conclusions about the whole.
You could be guilty of insulting another man’s work. In this case, it’s God’s work.