OK, first post for the “I Believe” series…
thought we could move in slow, before we start talking about speaking in tongues, women in church leadership, and Calvinism
I Believe…in the church
I believe in the entire idea…churches of every kind, every size, in houses, warehouses, buildings with steeples, in schools, theaters, and store fronts.
I hear people say all the time: “the system is broken”
The system isn’t broken, the people in the system are broken
Church is like anything else…put a bunch of people in one room together, and at some point the fact that we are prideful, fallen, wicked sinners is going to expose itself.
Truth is, people quit church, blame church, and accuse church, when the problem isn’t the idea…the problem is them…the problem is people
Church is just an easy target for those of us who are fed up with living in a broken, sinful world…and the part we play in it
I am not saying that church is perfect. Far from it
Especially in the west, church is painfully inept, painfully prideful, painfully self centered, and consumerist.
But the doesn’t mean the idea isn’t perfect…
to take a group of people, all redeemed, all restored, all new creatures in Christ, and put them in pockets of every community in the world as the physical, tangible, observable manifestation of the truth and love of Jesus
Al Queda has ripped the idea from the Bible, and created a terrorist group that is impossible to destroy…if you defeat one group, two pop up in place of the one you destroyed, while at the very same time ten new, unconnected groups are created in the next nzip code.
Problem is…well you
The church isn’t the problem, the system isn’t broken, they aren’t the problem…I’m the problem
I want to be right
I want to be comfortable
I want to be entertained
I want to be free to do what I want
I want to… (the list of “I wants” could go on and on)
Here is what I have found: People (including me) want the benefit of a biblical church without the bummer of actually being part of that church existing. We want the benefit without the time, sweat, and tears
If you don’t like the church you are at…find one you do
If you can’t serve at the church you are at…find one you can
and if after ten or fifteen attempts you still haven’t, if may not be the churches, it may be the “I wants”
I know the church is a mess…I just think it is a beautiful mess…
Rather than throw stones at it, I want to help heal it…
But that doesn’t start with you, it starts with me
That doesn’t start with them, it starts with us
Please, we do not need one more book on how much the church sucks…we get it, we know…
we need 100 more books on how the church can be what God envisioned it to be
At the end of it all…if you hate the church, you do so in direct opposition to the perspective of Jesus, who loved, died for, and gave Himself to the church
To be grieved is different than hate or even indifference
I think Jesus is grieved by the church in the west, but He desperately loves her, and would never give up on her
I know the list of those wounded by the church is endless…I HAVE BEEN WOUNDED BY THE CHURCH!
I know countless people who have a church story…I HAVE A CHURCH STORY!
I hope that we can realize, that the church isn’t the problem…the idea, isn’t the problem…its actually the solution
When the church is what God describes it is an agent of redemption, of restoration, of truth, of hope, of grace, of love…
I believe in that