About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter. (Joan of Arc)
Having thought a little bit more on topic of loving God but not loving church, here are a few bullet points.
- A healthy church is different than a non-healthy one.
I had this very simple thought strike my consciousness recently, after addressing an issue that took place at a church where I’ve been attending the past year or so. the way it was handled by leaders was so different than anything I had experienced in previous dealings with leadership. I wasn’t shut down. I was treated as an equal, like what I had to say actually mattered. And it hit me, “that was refreshingly different.”
there is a difference. Don’t let the adage, “Well, no church is perfect” justify remaining in an unhealthy spiritual environment, just like the phrase “well, no one’s perfect” is not a valid excuse for staying in a toxic relationship. I have seen families (and individuals) severely injured by church gone wrong and for them (as well as myself) it was quite a difficulty to learn how to step away from that environment.
The church represents a lot of things, depending on who you are and your background. I would say there is a distinction between “church” and Church. If you are literally unable to invest in a “church” that doesn’t mean that you are no longer apart of the Church, or that you have ceased to be apart of this missional community worldwide.
- God’s purpose in part in the establishment of the Church is for His people to experience Him through participating in the sacraments.
This was pretty good for me to realize too. In John Chapter 14, Jesus says to Thomas that He Himself is the only way to the Father. At the time the spiritual leadership of Israel was doing a pretty good job monopolizing power, abusing God’s Word and “taking the best seat at feast tables”. Yet Jesus echoes here to Thomas what He said in John Chapter 10, “I am the Gate ( or “door”)… By me, any man may enter in, and find pasture.”
- Christ doesn’t always provide for us according to our own desires or interpretations of what our lives are ‘supposed’ to look like… but He is our Provider and that is saying an awful lot.
God Himself is our Manna; Christ is our Provision.
The reason I include this as a bullet point is due to the weakness of man to be obedient to Christ’s commands. If the church falls short of demonstrating Christ’s goodness to the Earth, all hope is not lost.
God is not mocked. He’s not depending on us to be a perfect showcase of His glory. He is and always will be glorious.
The fact that He chooses to reveal His glory in earthen vessels wasn’t based on my decision. It’s quite mysterious just how God manages it, but I am convinced that He is the One doing it. God revealing Himself to people, and not only that, but choosing to show off His beauty in and through us, that is most definitely His work!