Friday, May 14, 2010

Dumbest View of the Church I Ever Saw

It's almost like a sport today for people to say they "love Jesus" but hate "the church" (which can mean anything from "religious hypocrites" to "Christian people" to "organized religion" to the actual bride of Christ I suppose).

In some cases, I feel their pain. What calls itself "the church" (and sometimes actually is the church) can be a pretty challenging entity. I'm nearly certain that Jesus is frequently grieved. Still, I'm increasingly bothered by what people thoughtlessly say.

I ran across one particularly annoying example recently when I looked at the profile of a commenter on one of my friends posts. We'll call him "John".

This is what he put for "Religious Views":
“I love Christ - can't stand his wife though”

Okay. Couple thoughts:

1) I’m assuming that “I love Christ” means that John would self-identify as a Christian (or Christ-follower or whatever). If that is true, John is part of the “wife” of Christ. So is it that he can’t stand himself, or is it just all the other Christians that are no good?

2) “Bride” is not the only analogy for the church. "Body" is a frequently employed metaphor in the New Testament as well. So what John identifies as the “wife” of Christ is actually part of Christ – His body. How can one “love Christ” and be unable to stand a significant part of Christ? After all, “we are his hands and feet”, are we not?

3) In Acts 9 Jesus asks Saul, “Why do you persecute me?” Of course, Saul had never met Jesus before, much less persecuted Him. Jesus’ obvious point was that to persecute the church is to persecute Him. Perhaps John should exercise caution with his words…

4) Do you really love me if you “can’t stand” my wife, who is one with me?

5) Clearly the church is deeply flawed. That is because it is made up of people. I’m assuming John is a person, and as such is also deeply flawed. I would expect a less judgmental attitude from a self-identified political liberal. Seems even they cannot escape human nature!



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