Thursday, February 17, 2011

But I have a few things against you... Rev 2:14

This post is not meant to be critical of any individual/individuals/church/churches, but an observation of the system in general.

The church of Jesus Christ is a living, breathing organism. The very life of Jesus is the source of "her" life. When left untainted by human tinkering, her DNA will give expression to the most beautiful woman the world has ever seen - the bride of Christ. Unfortunately, the traditions and doctrines of men have altered her DNA to such an extent that her growth and appearance have been stymied and distorted.

Some of the factors which contribute to this situation are:

1. A seperation of sacred vs secular life for a Christian. For a christian every day, every minute, every second is sacred. He is living in union with Christ every moment of his life. So wherever he goes, Christ goes with him. That means his workplace, school, market place is sacred and they become his mission field.

2. A seperation of clergy vs laity. According to the N.T. every christian is a king and a priest. The old system of priests, temples and sacrifices has been fulfilled and done away in Jesus Christ. Of course there are apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. But they are not "positions" like in an organization such as GE or Microsoft. These are gifts that Christ has given to His church for the equipping of the saints. Neither are they "titles" like in a secular organization, but more like a "function" that these people fulfill within the body of Christ. Seperation of clergy and laity, renders the laity as non-functioning or rarely functioning members of His body, sitting in a pew, passively listening to a sermon and going out and living their individual lives thereafter.

3. The church is viewed as a place we go on Sundays to "worship". Worship is not a 45min to 1 hour thing we do on Sunday mornings. Worship is an attitude of the heart which is born out of love for our bridegroom. It includes, but is not limited to a few songs, sung along with an orchestra played by professionals. Jesus told the samaritan woman at the well, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem..Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks". We don't limit our worship when we go to this place or that mountain or the building we call "church".

4. Jesus also said that by your love for one another they shall know that you are my disciples. To say the least, the body of Christ has been sliced, diced, butchered and cut into innumerable pieces constituting denominations and sects. Sunday morning is the time when this division is most visible. Some say they are of Paul, some say they are of Apollos, some say they are of Christ, some of Wesley, some of Luther, some baptists, some pentecostals, some anglican, some reformed. When the church was born after the resurrection of Jesus, the churches were simply known by the city they were in for ex. church in Corinth, Ephesus etc. You could never see any church named after a person or an organization unlike the modern churches. Paul strongly rebuked such divisiveness among the christians in Corinth. Imagine, if just the Christians that lived in your street or block (I'm picturing my densely populated town) identified themselves, not by the name of their "organization" but by identifiying themselves as part of the church in that city and lived as such. Imagine the display of "oneness" for the world to see. Christ will be made manifest to the world!

Does this mean that God won't use the existing system? Of course God will use His people and God will bless His people! But that is not His highest and His best, that is not the vision in His heart of His beautiful bride called the church. In the midst of all this confusion, He is building His church, not human organizations, but His bride and His house!

Just some thoughts!


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