Skip to main content

Do you love the church?

Oh, how I love the church! Sure, it's full of sinful people (of whom I am the chief offender!). But it's also the beautiful Bride of Christ, full of people who were bought by His precious blood. There's no greater honor than serving the Lord by loving the church and shepherding His people.

Most Americans (including many professing Christians) have rejected "organized religion" in favor of a more private and personal spiritual journey. To many, the church has become optional at best, and irrelevant or even reviled at worst. Janie B. Cheaney responds by asking:
What exactly is "organized religion," except code words for Christ's own church? In the world's eyes, she's aging ungracefully: an overdressed dowager with a checkered past, who divides her time between ghastly potluck dinners and awkwardly meddling in people's private affairs.

When he first came to faith through an enchanted forest of imagination, C.S. Lewis saw the church as a "fussy, time-wasting botheration": "the bells, the crowds, the umbrellas, the notices, the bustle, the perpetual arranging and organizing." Over time, he probably saw her differently; it's certain that Christ does, as a radiant bride adorned for her husband, ordained by the One who calls things that are not as though they were.

...To those who claim to follow Jesus yet remain outside His church, one question: How can you love Christ and despise His body?
If you struggle to love the church; if you find yourself irritated with her; or if you are tempted to give up on her altogether, let me encourage you to meditate on these verses, and cultivate your affections for the church:

Matthew 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Photo credit: KellyB


  1. Oh my goodness, what a breath of fresh air! Brother, I am so blessed by your words today and thankful for your love of the church.

    I am weary of the church getting blamed, accused and mistreated by none other than those who should love her most. Thank you for honoring that which Christ died for!

    You are so right, "organized religion" is simply code word for God's church. I have no problem with organized religion if God is doing the organizing.

  2. Guess what? I read your post earlier in the day so I had this fresh on my mind and then tonight at work I was able to talk about this very subject with one of my clients! This client has this very mindset you were talking about and it was a very fruitful conversation. Thanks for posting!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).

Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…