Church is one big happy dysfunctional family part two

Why put up with the dysfunctions of the church when you can build an audience and career bashing it? Why bother taking the hits? In other words, what about all the “yeah, but…” crowd? And, didn’t I once say I loved the pin that read “Oh Lord, save me from your followers” in a sermon once?

React. Repeat. Respond.

When it comes to church most either react or repeat. Few respond. I often laugh at deconstructionists who are either high church minded or progressive church minded. The reason is the way the argue and operate is very much like the church they ridiculed, just a different team. Others react and Go a different direction and the church is actually the casualty, because it is people they are leaving and the Gospel gets dropped. Why stay? Because it is better to respond to issues rather than react or repeat.

Idolatry vs Theo

Much of church problems today result from following the idols of the day verses the theology God gave us. The church, like Israel in the past, want a king like everyone else. We call them lead pastors, whose vision and leadership gifts enable them to build programs and an experience that I enjoy and call church. This feeds the American idols of consumerism and convenience. This is best seen in both the winsomeness movement, avoiding hard subjects (unless it is a winsome crowd builder), and making Christianity easy. Then, we separate families from their kids, aiming programs for kids and teenagers to their tastes while schizophrenically saying it is not about them. Leadership. Passion. Vision… Meanwhile the pattern in the New Testament is Repent. Shepherd. Endure…

Repent. Shepherd. Endure.

The prescription from the Bible regarding issues of the church is to repent. This starts with us (remove the log from your own eye) and then helping others. Church only gets better if I get better. Second, the Bible’s focus is on shepherding and not leadership. While I can’t stand the followers of John MacArthur, his movement has a point: We need to preach the Word. The primary gift in Christ’s church needs to be shepherding and not leadership. Finally, we need to endure. Yes, there are time to walk away from a church, or for a church to release those who are toxic or unrepentant. As a general rule endurance is what the Bible calls for. It is what love, according to the Bible, is.

Friendship over worship

The New Testament emphasizes a relationship with God and not worship. Worship focuses on the otherness of God, which is why it is emphasized in the Old Testament. However, in Christ the otherness of God, the separation, is solved in the Gospel. Hence worship relates to our human interactions after we are saved. In the over used and misguided chestnut “It’s a relationship not a religion,” we made worship an idol. Why is this an issue? The biblical reality of the church is that church is a family, not a hospital, disney, business, organization, or fortress. We are family. God is our father. Jesus is our big brother. The Spirit our leader and protector.

The solution

Jesus gave us the solution. He said that if anyone wants to follow Him they must deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow Him. We must consider ourselves last, sacrifice, and obey Christ. Focus on others, offer my body as a living sacrifice, and do what Jesus says. This is the way, the truth, and the life.

We win

The right side of history is standing with the one who Jesus gave himself up for, the church. In the end we win. In the end we will get it. In the end we will be presented to Jesus as spotless and without blemish. Why stay in church? Because it is the winning team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.