Jesus’ Church has done a lot of bad things throughout history. Whether it was wars or various forms of torture, people have misused the idea of Church. In this sermon, Greg speaks about the different issues surrounding the Church’s history, and he submits a few ideas about how to deal with this type of crap happening.
The Church has done a lot throughout history. A lot of good has happened in this world because of the Church. A lot of evil has happened in this world because of the Church. Church was supposed to be God’s representatives to the world, starting with the 12 disciples. Yet, something along the way went wrong.
Even today, there are some things associated with the Church that are not good. Whether it’s sex scandals, politicians using the Church, Koran burnings or churches that picket funerals, “Church happens” is happening around the world. A recent poll from Pew research showed that perception of the Church is intolerant, arrogant, anti-gay, anti-women, pro-life, pro-capital punishment, pro-military, and pro-torture. The movement that started with Jesus has become something else, and many non-Christians use this view of the Church to argue against the Church. Sometimes, it’s very easy to agree with them.
Yet, even though we can agree that the Church isn’t the way it should be, we can suggest a few agreements regarding this hypocrisy. The first is that the Kingdom looks like Jesus. Jesus never killed his enemies or misused his authority. He didn’t picket funerals or have sex with people that trusted him to lead them. The Church should look like this, but it doesn’t, and that is due to it being run by humans. Don’t mistake the mistakes of people for Jesus.
The second suggested agreement we have is that what we see on T.V. isn’t the Church. The media will give the megaphone to whoever brings in the most ratings. While we see the burning of the Koran or picketing of funerals on the news, we won’t see the sacrifices a father makes for his children or a small group praying and supporting each other financially. Those types of things are just not newsworthy. These stereotypes of hateful, stupid Christians do not apply to most Christians. There are millions who devote their lives to Jesus in loving ways, and they will never be put on CNN.
The third suggested agreement is that we shouldn’t dismiss the Church in general based upon a few people’s actions. Most of the problems today within the Church are the work of a few individuals out of millions. It can be easy to reject the generalization of Church when we get hurt, but the thing to recognize is that we have a problem with the specific people and not Jesus’ vision for our work in this world. Getting rid of Church and going solo in our faith is a mistake. The body of Christ can’t survive if it’s dismembered. We depend on each other as much as our finger depends on our wrist that depends on our arm, which all depends on the heart and brain. Hebrews 10:24-25 states that we should not give up meeting together. It seems the problem of skipping church has been there from the beginning. Isolation is not the answer.
The Church is a group of people committed to living like Jesus in this world. If anything is not of Jesus, then it doesn’t belong in the Church. If we can’t reconcile our actions with who Jesus is, then we should probably take a long look at our own actions. Jesus didn’t kill his enemies or picket their funerals. He loved them in ways that they couldn’t handle. Jesus didn’t abandon community when the going got rough, but instead stuck it out with his disciples. In fact, even after they abandoned him, he came back for them three days later. Jesus is the true image of the Church
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