There are a lot of major issues in the Church in America. LOTS! It’s still one of the most segregated places in America. We have way too many dying churches. There are scandals, and hurts. Church attendance is on the decline in America. Many college age are leaving the church as soon as they graduate, not looking to return. The church has some issues, y’all.
I get the issues in the Church.
We haven’t even talked about the lack of a true impact in the community. There are roughly 350,000 churches in America. 300K of them are on Hampton Highway in Yorktown, Virginia. I kid, I kid. There are estimated 140,000 orphans in America today. I don’t know how to fix it, but if half of the churches were serious about true religion that takes care of orphans and widows every kid born in America would have a family.
I get the issues.
It’s my world.
I get that there are lots of hypocrites. I get that it often seems that the Church cares more about your money than you. At times it feels you give and give and then when your needs are met no one is there for you. I get the issues.
I’m not dismissing them or diminishing them. There are real issues.
For the Christians not liking the Church is simply not an option.
Ephesians 5:25-27 paints a picture of the Church as the bride of Jesus. This is a very important analogy.
As the bride we should take our position seriously. As the bride it makes sense why Jesus’ brother would say that friendship with the world is adultery. How can you love Jesus and not be committed to Him?
No wife is perfect, but we should be fiercely loyal.
And yet there is a growing trend of people who just don’t like the church. Maybe they don’t like the new style of music, maybe they were burned, maybe they were hurt, maybe they just got busy.
When I say they I’m not writing about anyone particular. This isn’t a passive aggressive post directed at someone in hopes that they will change. I talk to a lot of pastors, and read a lot about the church, and the message is the same everywhere. People aren’t giving up Jesus. People are giving up the local church.
Here’s the deal, if you want a relationship with me you better like my wife. You cannot have a meaningful relationship with me and hate my bride. You tell me that you love me and then say you don’t like my wife and I will look at you like you have just drank crack or smoked some beer. That’s crazy talk.
It’s the same with the local Church. The Church (with a big C and not a particular church with a small c) is the bride of Jesus.
If you have been hurt by the Church, I am truly sorry. I am. I hate it for you. But if you are following Jesus, He will always lead you back to His bride. Always. It may not be a traditional Sunday morning church, but falling in love with Jesus means you fall in love with His bride.
Jesus’ intention is that you would be connected with other believers to sing, study the Bible, evangelize, baptize, and remember His sacrifice by taking communion.
So who is my intended audience with this post? It’s anyone that goes to church. It’s not to those who have left. If you currently go to church you need to make sure you are following Jesus and not a pastor, a style of church service, or a ministry. You need to make sure you are prioritizing the Church. You need to make sure you helping fix the issues in the Church. You need to make sure you are following Jesus, because the bride is imperfect. And when you get let down by the bride the temptation will be to run away forever.
As much as it hurts to be let down by a church if you follow Jesus, He will lead you back to the bride.
What are your thoughts about the Church being the bride of Jesus? How does the Church being Jesus’ bride change your perception of what we do each week?