Does the Church Matter? 3 reasons it does, with links to past posts

What’s the big deal about the Church, anyway?

Does it matter?

Is it relevant?

Should I care? 

In some form or another, these are questions I get asked almost weekly. So, I thought I’d offer you three posts from my past writing, specifically on the topic of the Church.

I encourage you to read the one that intrigues you the most. Let me know what you think by commenting below, or on the original post.

1st Post: We Gather AS the Church, not AT the Church.

The first post gets at the way we speak, and therefore think, of ourselves, arguing that when we gather, we gather AS the church, not AT the church (read post here). By rethinking our language, it can help us be the church wherever we are–gathered together or scattered throughout the week.

2nd Post: When we say we love Jesus, but don’t care for his Church.

It’s always struck me that Christians don’t get the deep connection Jesus has with his church. If they did, they might speak more carefully about his bride. Rather, we will say we love Jesus, and then proceed to insult, berate and disregard the one he loves most. It’s the equivalent of saying, “I love you, Jesus, but I can’t stand your wife.” (read post here)

3rd Post: Why I haven’t quit church (and you shouldn’t either)

The church is a mess. There’s no denying it. But where is Jesus? Right in the middle of that mess. In a reflection from Revelation, I was challenged by this picture of where Jesus was standing, and where we need to be standing as well. (read post here)

The Church of Jesus Christ is broken yet beautiful, filled with the Spirit of God and desperately in need of grace. I’m thankful to be counted among them, because of what Jesus did for me. And I’m excited to be in on Jesus’ plan to heal the world through us! (Here’s a bonus link to one more post about that!)

Question for comment below: How has your understanding of the Church changed over the last few years? Why?

I love you, but I can’t stand your wife

Do you think you can love me and hate my wife?

Yeah . . . right.

Our friendship stands little chance if I hear you’ve been trash talking the love of my life.  If I hear things like:

“Tom’s a great guy, but why does he insist on bringing her?”

“I love hanging out with Tom, but his wife just bugs me.”

“I like Tom, but I can’t stand his wife.”

If I knew you were saying (or even thinking) that about her, do you think our friendship would grow? Do you think trust would develop between us? Do you think I’d invite you into my inner circle and allow you to influence my life?

Fat chance.

Lady Mary from Downton Abbey
Mary may be “damaged goods,” but Matthew’s love for her covers that as he plans to build the future of Downton Abbey with her as his wife. Matthew’s love for Mary is an image of Jesus’ love for his bride, the church.

But lots of supposed Jesus followers do exactly that when it comes to the church, the bride of the Jesus they claim to love.

You’ve heard it. Heck, maybe you’ve said it.

“I love Jesus, but I can’t stand the church.”

“I follow Jesus, but I don’t do the organized church thing.”

“I like you, Jesus, but I despise your wife.”

Good luck with that.

Let me be clear. I know many of you have been hurt by churches. I am truly sorry for the ways the bride of Jesus may have mistreated you or disregarded you or made you feel awkward or ashamed. The church has much to repent of, and I’ll be the first one to tell you that and line up to join the confessional booth.

But here’s the deal: As nasty and unlovable and wrong as we’ve been, Jesus hasn’t divorced the church. The church is still his, and he’s got a plan that involves the church in the restoration of the world. It may be hard to believe, but that wife you can’t stand is the very means through which God is restoring relationships and renewing righteousness in his creation (Ephesians 3:7-11).

Don’t dis the church if you want to hang out with Jesus. They come as a package deal.