Sunday, August 26

Don't Fear for the Church!

An example of over-generalization

I weary of hearing those "theologians" who have a defeatist attitude toward Christ and His church. To hear some talk, you'd think that the church is on her last leg. And some feel that in order to correct this apparent denigration, the church must, as it were, reinvent herself. All things fall under intense scrutiny. While there are areas that need attention, a case in point is a remark I've heard from numerous people. "The church is so mean" they say. So, "if we would only be like Jesus, people would come, be saved, enjoy a new conversation and the church will grow!" Those who declare such things have not read their Bibles very well, for one need not look far before finding Jesus running off the Pharisees and even the multitudes who had come looking for a welfare hand-out with no strings attached (John 6). And what do modern church leaders say to Jesus' frequent rejoinder to the crowds that if they would be HIS disciple, then they must be willing to "hate mother, father, brother, sister and even their own life" (Matt. 10; Luke 9 & 14). Such statements are numerous and clear. So whatever church folk might like to say about them, still they must (if they're honest) deal with the fact that Jesus did in fact say these things. I hope we assume that Jesus knew what he was doing?! But to hear some people talk you would think that they imagine Jesus to be a poor evangelist, or misguided and out of date. Our talk is so brazen and/or pusillanimous as to border on blasphemy!

Some today will even sound the death knell on the church preferring rather other organizations to her, or by so changing the face of church that it hardly resembles anything connected with the real body of Christ. I am afraid that fads and style mean more to some leaving seminary than the sheer honesty required of any who stand faithful to Jesus' name. Let us not allow the spirit of the age to lure us into a faithless shuffle. Let us own our loyalty to Jesus above all other loves, and accept the consequences always associated with any who rightly declare that Jesus is Lord. And let us do this in a world of religions seemingly fighting to displace Jesus Christ in favor of a milder, more tolerant approach to the world. Jesus warned, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Mt. 10:34). And he who spoke these words also stated unapologetically, "I will build my church" (Mt. 16:18). Jesus will build it despite us. Do we imagine that he did not know through what the church would have to go? Jesus WILL build without fail. Do we not realize that he knew exactly over which hurdles his bride would have to climb? Jesus will build HIS church, and not some cheap facsimile of it. We take hope in such Almighty declarations. We need such statements, for they are true. And we need them because our vanity is so prone to inflation and our hearts so susceptible to self-deception. God open our eyes to the truth of His Word. It will not fail, nor shall His church!

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