Don’t Pick A Fight With Jesus
There are moments in all of our lives where the people who are the closest to us are the people that we treat the worst, where we become so used to their impact on our life that we become blind to their acts of service…or their kind words. In some ways, these people become ghosts…people we see straight through, only noticing them when something goes wrong, or when we need something. When this happens, we cease to see people as people. In our minds, people become objects set to a purpose, not unlike a refrigerator or a microwave. We move from thankfulness to entitlement, becoming angry when the “object” fails to do what they have always done out of love. However, in my good conscience, I cannot any longer. I cannot stand idly by and watch people who claim fellowship and discipleship with Christ ignore explicit commands. In this blog, I have been diplomatic, open, and attempted to foster an atmosphere of debate, openness, and growth. This post is not going to be like that. This post is not going to be diplomatic and act as if there is room for debate. I am not writing this post to foster debate but to hopefully rattle enough cages to awaken sleeping Christians.
Over the last few weeks, I have seen an unusual increase in articles regarding why people are “leaving” the Church. Most cite painful experiences, abusive Church practices, and a general disconnect with issues that our mainstream culture deems “important.” All of these things are true. The Church has become abusive of its own congregants, more interested in programing than in people (all people not just some select few that everyone tries to garner to). The Church has lost touch with issues related to our culture, wasting their time on frivolous and pointless endeavors like the appeal of Roe v. Wade and the abolishment of same-sex marriage. Evangelicals in particular appear to live in a bubble that they have created for themselves where what exists in the world only exists if it fits their worldview. It is lazy thinking designed to put as little effort into analysis, self-examination, and seeking after truth as possible. Where did this come from? Well…it came from the Church itself. For much of the twentieth century religious life had been relegated to a once a week service that lasts about an hour. The rest of the week was dedicated to our endeavors, our goals, our wealth and so on. The twenty-first century has continued in this vain…except now time for Christian instruction and community is becoming even rarer than that. Sure, a person may read their bible or pray every morning for 10 minutes…or do both and think, “I don’t need Church. I just need Jesus.”
See…here is the thing…you cannot have one without the other. Jesus and His Church are a package deal…and if you love him than you need to love His wife as well. As an example, if a friend of mine said to me, “Dude, you are like awesome and I love hanging with you…but can you not bring your wife she’s a real nag and I really cannot stand her.” What kind of husband would I be if I did nott immediately lay into that guy and demand an apology before ever speaking with him again. If I just stood there shook my head and went, “Ok man, we don’t have to hang with her when your around…I’ll just leave her at home and we can do our own thing,” how many people would want to give me worst husband of the year award. If this standard is expected of me, a man who fell in love with a woman and made a vow before God that she and I would be as one person before Him, than how with any semblance of intelligence can a person seriously think it is not the standard for Jesus as well? When I proposed to my wife…I bought her an engagement ring…when Christ proposed He gave His very life. So not only is it a ridiculous notion for the reasons I have already mentioned, but it is even MORE ridiculous when you take into account how much more Jesus has invested in His relationship with His bride.
Why do you think you have a right to Jesus without His bride? Jesus died for all Christians…not just you…in your denial of the Church and your disowning of Her you disown Jesus! Think on this for a moment…why did you leave, why are you thinking about leaving? Were you hurt…were you disrespected…were you belittled…were you abused and mistreated? One or a combination of these could be true as well as many more that I did not even list. We are commanded in Hebrews 10:25 to not cease in meeting together. This is a SIMPLE command. It is not hard…it might require that you swallow your pride…that you confront bitterness…and that you learn what it is to forgive people who spit in your face…but getting your butt out of bed and driving to a building where the people of God are gathering is NOT hard. Some will come up with all sorts of excuses stating that they still have Christian community in small groups and bible studies and so on…but to be honest…that excuse no longer works for me.
The Church has met together on the same day of the week for the last 2000 years…humble yourself and walk in the footsteps of those who have trod the path before you. As a symbol of humility and unity meet where the Church gathers and be counted among God’s people. Is the Church broken…yes…is it corrupt…yes…does it need SERIOUS reform…yes. Is that an excuse to bad mouth Jesus’s wife…nope. Moreover, here is why, if it had not been for Her if it had not been for His work in Her despite Her failings you would not be in the faith to begin with. God has used the Church to give birth to you and train you up…all that you are…all that God has made you is a product of the Church’s rearing. In thankfulness to Her and to Him who died for you, humble yourself, do not demand your own way and be among God’s people. I am not saying jump in headfirst and start getting involved right away…just go…when the time is right…then step forward and begin to serve. Strive to serve faithfully as giving account to God and not to man…and be assured that He is with you. He is faithful…even when we are not…but now is the time to stop being unfaithful and to return to the people that he laid his life down for, He loves Her…which means you should too. Peace and Blessings and as always thank you for reading.
With Christ’s Love
(AKA The Nerdy Theologian)