What’s Wrong with the Church?

I bet the title got you attention?  I hope that I don’t offer too simplistic of an answer by simply saying, “Nothing.” Now, the reason I say nothing may seem to fly in the face of some observations that are made nowadays.  However, we have to remember, that observations are based on people and their habits, not the church.

I think we need to see why there is nothing at all wrong with the church!  The church is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9), The church was bought with God’s own blood (Acts 20:28).  Christ is the Head, or Owner of the church (Col. 1:17-20).  The Church is beautiful, diverse, and made just the way it is supposed to be (1 Cor. 12:12-26). We who have been bought by the Blood of the Lamb make up the church as a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation (1 Pet. 2:9-10). It bears the name of Jesus (Rom. 16:1). It glorifies God in the highest ways for all eternity (Eph. 3:21).

The Church is to remain unified (1 Cor. 1:10) and we are to strive to protect that unity with tenacity (Eph. 4:3). The church is made unified by one Body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God (Eph. 4:4-6), all the work of God, our Father! The church is made up of people, not a building (1 Pet. 2; Acts 17:26-31). Church is not a spectator sport ( Eph. 4:11-13). The church has a job and mission (Matt. 28:18-20).

The church is a place of love ( 1 Cor. 13), where all of us hold each other up (Gal. 6:2). It’s a place of selfless giving (Acts 2:42-47), a place that reaches out instead of in (Gal. 6:9-10), and a place that shines the light of Christ in the darkest of places (Matt. 5:14). It’s a place where theology doesn’t ever trump love (Phil. 4:2), and divisions are forbidden (1 Cor. 1:10). It’s a place where God is honored, not traditions or personal preferences, even those cleverly wrapped in a proof-texted Scripture (Mark 7:6-13). It’s a place where I come last and He comes first.

We can see that the Scriptures bear witness to and elaborate on this beautiful thing God chose to call the Church.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, in fact, everything is RIGHT with it! I’m the first to admit that it is easy to get hung up on things I think have to do with the “church”, but really, they are opinions, preferences, and differences in methodology. I think we carry this over because we’re sinful, broken, people.  Its far easier to blame something on someone else or something else than for us to tack stock and realize that we have just as much responsibility as anyone else in the church.

We are the church.  We are God’s holy people. We are His witness in this world.  It is our duty to get out of the pews (which, by the way are a human invention) and the four walls of the church building (which also, by the way are a human invention) and get people to Jesus.  We are to go to the gutters, the street corners, the crack houses, the bars, the schools, the cities and countries and share this wonderful news:  Jesus saves! Maybe we should stop saying we’re “going to church” because the fact is this:  you can’t go to something you are!  An hour a week isn’t too much time to devote to the Savior of the world, is it?  Yet, it’s not the ONLY time you should devote to Him, either!  Church isn’t a place, its being the body, living what you believe, practicing what you preach!

My challenge to you this week is this:  stop getting hung up on “what’s wrong with…”.  Just know that God has given you a part to play in His church and you are just as important as anyone else. However, do not use that idea to think you’re God’s chosen defender of the faith.  Does God need a defender?  Nope. He’s perfectly capable of defending Himself. The church is the way it is today because that’s the way its supposed to be.  Sure, we can improve our outreach. We can have a more vibrant and energetic worship service, we can use technology to reach millions in seconds, and we can help each other grow in faith, love, and unity!  So what are you going to do to make sure you are pulling your weight?  This week, stop pointing fingers and revealing “problems”, or asking “What are others going to do?”  and get out of the pew and talk to somebody about Jesus. That’s your mission. Your mission is not to criticize, condemn, judge, or use Scripture as hate speech.  IT’s to love.  So get out there, be the church, and do what you need to do.  Just something to think about.

4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the Church?

  1. “get out of the pew and talk to somebody about Jesus”, That’s my favorite line in all you wrote. I agree fully. We are NOT the “watchdogs of the Faith”! God is! We are called to be the harvesters. Simply said; “Get out of the pew and talk to someone about Jesus”

    Love ya Bro.

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  2. There are some genuine grievances that should be addressed. For example, how did we let Nashville, Tennessee become the defacto Vatican City? Who died and made David Lipscomb God? The biggest problem with the Lord’s church is unbelief (the same problem she had in the first century). We are taught error and if we object, we are accused of being divisive.

    The clergy took over the church of God once upon a time (witness the Catholic Church). In every generation the laity is in danger of being subjugated by the clergy. Just because something calls itself “The Church of Christ” doesn’t make it so. Not every one that saith unto me, “Lord, Lord”, shall enter the kingdom of heaven. We are NOT immune to apostasy.

    The New Testament was written primarily to steer the church away from error and toward the truth. Apostasy is a real issue. The church has serious problems of unbelief. The most egregious error is the church’s position on spiritual gifts. Human tradition has dictated that “that which is perfect” is the bible. But the bible says that “that which is perfect” is perfect unity among Christians (see Ephesians 4). We teach that the bible interprets itself but when it comes to spiritual gifts, we reject the bible’s interpretation in favor of our own ideas and traditions. We’re all afraid of looking too Pentecostal. There, I said it.

    The rejection of the gifts of God is tantamount to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. You reject the gift, you reject the Giver. Jesus told a parable about a servant who buried his talent. We are told that Jesus was teaching about our natural abilities in this world but that’s NOT what Jesus was teaching. In the parable, the Master gave gifts to his servants when he went on his long journey. The one who did NOT use the gift was cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Ephesians 4 tells us that when Jesus ascended into heaven, He “gave gifts to men”.

    We are afraid of looking too Pentecostal because we fear men. Jesus said that if we’re ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us. Respect of persons is to disrespect God. There is a HUGE elephant in the living room and ignoring his presence is not wise. We should have unity but unity around a lie cannot be what God wants.

    I honestly believe that the current teaching in the churches of Christ regarding spiritual gifts is a demonic influence – a golden calf – separating the bride from her Husband.

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