- Just doesn’t feel right; is not the right fit.
- Hurt my family years ago, and I will never forgive them!
- Is so unfriendly.
- Is too big.
- Is too small.
- Doesn’t meet my (our) needs.
- Is too contemporary.
- Is too conservative.
- Doesn’t have a kid’s ministry.
- Is full of hypocrites.
- Comes across as being full of perfect people.
- Will judge what I wear.
- Sings music that’s too loud and too worldly!
- Sings only the old songs.
- Just wants your money.
And I have just covered a few of the gazillion statements I have heard over the years in reference to church.
My dad pastored ten churches over the course of his fifty year ministry. I personally trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of five in Marietta, Ohio. Church has been my life for fifty-nine years.
Oh the stories I could tell about church, good and bad! Perhaps as I continue to write about this subject, I’ll share some of them.
Today, my heart is simply to say this, our perspective on church is totally skewed if we look at the church through the lens of finite, temporal man alone. Furthermore, the only correct view for all of life, including the church, must come from absolute Truth, the Word of God.
Consider the following:
The Church is God’s idea, not man’s.
I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14-15).
Jesus Christ is the “Master Builder” of His Church, not man.
Jesus said He would build His church and that no power of hell could destroy it. Jesus Christ’s definitive statement recorded in Matthew 16:18 says, I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The Church belongs to Jesus Christ alone, not man.
I will build my church (Matthew 16:18).
Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, not man.
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent (Colossians 1:18).
The Church is Christ’s body, not man’s.
And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).
The Church is to be built upon Christ, not man.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).
Therefore, in EVERY discussion, attitude, action, response, and thought about church, you must begin with Christ, not man. To come to the right conclusion, you must end with Christ in mind, not man; His Word and not man’s perspective.
Tomorrow, I will continue these thoughts. In the meantime, look back at the list statements mentioned at the beginning of this blog. Where is the consideration, counsel, and wisdom of Christ seen in any of them?
Principle: You cannot have a high view of Christ and a low view of His church at the same time.