Church. The word stirs up strong emotions in many people. A large number of people hate the Christian church. I have to say I can relate. The Christian church can be mean and hurtful. The Christian church can leave people wounded and hurt, wanting nothing to do with God. As a pastor’s daughter I have seen the church at it’s best and at its worst. Despite giving everything for the church, I have seen leaders in the church betrayed and turned away. I have seen leaders take the trust that they were given and use it to hurt those in their power. I have seen committees tear a church and the people into bits. Despite all this I have never given up on the church. I have stood by the church. I never doubted that if I was faithful to the church, volunteering, attending and tithing, the church would be faithful to me. I believed this until my son, who has Aspergers, was not welcomed by a church. I hoped that my presence would make a difference, it didn’t. I hoped that my faithfulness would make a difference, it didn’t. The other teens turned their backs on him and would not welcome him.
The Christian church is in danger. Many churches are not welcoming to those that are different. Many churches have cliques that can be almost impossible to break in. Many churches teach doctrines that aren’t in the Bible. Many churches wound people instead of healing them. We shouldn’t be surprised. The Church has always been in danger. In Acts 2:28-31 Paul tells the church at Ephesus, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will distort the truth in order to draw disciples from them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Paul warned them with tears. Did he see the people who would be wounded by the church? Did he see those who would be turned away? The Church is in danger, because the enemy doesn’t want the church to succeed.
Everyone has their own view of the church. Some view the church as a place to be seen and to see others. Others view the church as a social club, another good thing to put on a resume. Still others see the church as a duty, a place to go because I should go or my family attends and I have to go with them. Many in our society view the church as a place of bigotry and hate. In our world, the church can be all those things. However, the church of the Bible is vastly different. Over my next few blog posts in my “Spiritual Ramblings” category, I will be exploring what the Bible tells us about the church. What does the church of the Bible look like? What does the church of the Bible not look like? What is the purpose of the church? Thoughts and questions? Comment after the post. I would love to know what you think.