I’m Done With The Church

That’s a grabber of a headline, isn’t it?

I’m not done with going to church, being a member of a church, praying for the church or being grateful for the church. Not by a long shot and may God forbid that I ever am.

But I am done with talking about the church on this blog.

It’s not like I’m going to accomplish anything by it. If I somehow persuade others to see the church my way, I’d be failing miserably in my attempt to persuade them to see it Christ’s way.

I’ve come to the conclusion that for me to critique the way the church looks is like a single cell – having suddenly been given the gifts of sight and cognition – seeing the whole body (of which it is only a tiny part) in a mirror and then criticizing the way that body looks. In looking back at some of the things I’ve written here, I feel I’ve been guilty of some of that.

I’m part of the body, the bride of Christ. Everything in this little cell that is me should long for Him, grateful that He sees the bride as beautiful; worthy of dying and living for. My goals should be to grow old looking more and more like Him; to support the other cells in their development.

Maybe there are white blood cells in this body which help others fight off the infection of sin. Maybe there are red blood cells which bring nourishment and vitality to others. Maybe there are stem cells that help in the adaptation to what is needed in the body. I’ll be glad to be whatever kind of cell is needed!

But I don’t want to be cell that turns against others, trying to conform them to what the body isn’t; spreading spiritual malformation and sucking the life and resources away from what should be growing, renewing.

I don’t want to be a cancer.

If I’m not saying what Christ said about His kingdom, I have nothing to say.

I have all due respect for the apostles and missionaries and evangelists and saints and martyrs of the first century and after. They lived in a different world from mine. I don’t have the confidence that I can always rightly translate what they shared about life in the body at that time to this century … and I must confess that I’m not fully confident that they had it all “right” either.

But I am confident that Jesus spoke for the ages. And His concern in speaking seems to be for individuals sustaining each other in the attempt to live a holy life before God.

Please hold me accountable to the commitment I’ve made here. Please forgive where I’ve strayed from it before I realized what I was doing.

I do love this body I’m in.

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5 thoughts on “I’m Done With The Church

  1. The thing that amazes me about my blogging friends is how “in tune” we seem to be. While I haven’t blogged so much about the church myself (too many people who know me read mine) I have been guilty of commenting too many things on too many blogs.For me the conclusion is I need to forget about trying to be part of a better church, or even defining what I think that is, and concentrate on being a better Christian. If I truly follow what Christ laid out for his followers to do I want have time to worry about making the church better. Anyway, none of us can make the church better without starting with ourselves, we are the church.Having said that, I have never found anything you said to be offensive. Your love for the body is apparent and you have done nothing but challenge me to think more deeply.

  2. Keith –Thank you for your openness and candor in recognizing and admitting possible mistakes on your part in your attitude toward fellow Christians (i.e., the church). Your are absolutely right in your analogy of each of us being a single “cell” of one type or another within the body, I think.I used to be much more critical in my approach to things I did not like in the body, just as I used to “hold on to” a lot of things within my physical family I should have let go of. As I got older, I came to understand that no one, or family, is perfect, but we are all we have and, indeed, as you so well summed up in your last 3 paragraphs:“I am confident that Jesus spoke for the ages. And His concern in speaking seems to be for individuals sustaining each other in the attempt to live a holy life before God.Please hold me accountable to the commitment I’ve made here. Please forgive where I’ve strayed from it before I realized what I was doing.I do love this body I’m in.”All I can say to that is “Amen” and may I always strive to have that attitude about my family, the church, and everyone else I meet, too. We all say and do things we shouldn’t, for sure. I certainly have, myself, and need to ask for forgiveness, too, from whomever I may have offended. Instead, may I always be an encourager and not a discourager.

  3. Totally agree with you Donna, we seem to always be right with each other. I left a response type thing on my blog.

  4. Keith,Thanks for letting your heart shine through. It’s much easier to criticize than it is to heal. I spend too much time doing the former, so thank you for this reminder. I still uphold the need to challenge and question…but a loving spirit is even more important. Next time I’m angry or being invited to leave the church fellowship I’m a part of…I’ll visit your blog.

  5. I want to thank you all for your encouragement. A friend e-mailed his to me, and I thought I’d share a couple of paragraphs of my response:“I just feel nudged right now to concentrate my posts on what Christ did and said ? the more I?ve looked at the NT past the gospels, the more it has seemed that the bride got into trouble when she was looking at the mirror instead of looking at the Groom. Jesus talked very little about the church or assembly He would found. He talked a lot about the kingdom/kingship/reign of God. I feel like my attention needs to be there.“I don?t want to bow out totally on the conversation about church. I just want to make sure that my blog is a wedding portrait that features both bride and Groom in full ? not just pictures of the bride?s hands or feet or peculiarly-shaped ear lobe. Does that make sense?”I should add that there are a LOT of folks blogging about church and challenges facing it. But as Fred Peatross pointed out months ago – and it still haunts me – <>very few<> are actually blogging about Jesus. He’s right.That’s why I started the < HREF="http://wwjdn.blogspot.com/" REL="nofollow">What Would Jesus Do Next?<> blog, and why I believe He needs to be more of a focus in mine.

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