Photo on WordPress
Chuck DeGroat wrote an article in Neue Magazine. He wrote, “I’m in this relationship, and it’s been quite difficult for some time. She continually lets me down and disappoints me. There are certain things I want from the relationship, but she seems to ignore my needs. She seduces me, and then kicks me out. Then, I walk back into the relationship cautiously, and she does something to totally redeem the rift. She sometimes gives me no confidence she even knows what a relationship is about. More than once, I’ve given up on her and left. But she’s never left my heart despite my attempts to forget her. What am I going to do?”
What do you think? What should he do in his situation?
Any sane person would say, “Dude, just leave her! What the heck is your problem? She is not worth it! There are better girls out there for you.”
But what if DeGroat was not talking about a boy-girl relationship but about the Church?
That changes everything.
Please re-read what he wrote, but now in the context of his relationship with the Church.
This describes a lot of people in our generation. Whether we have been hurt by the Church (actions of other members or leaders) or we are just disillusioned by the frailty of the people who lead the church, what should a person do when they are conflicted with the love-hate relationship they have with the Church?
We will never know how we view the Church unless something happens. So often instead of focusing on Jesus, who is the Head of the Church (Eph 5:23), we put the focus on people and ourselves. When we think the Church is all about us, then we will be disappointed because it is not about you. When the focus we put on a pastor or a leader overshadows the focus that should be on Christ, who is the Author and the Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2), then we will be disappointed. This is why when people do something that hurts us or something that we don’t like, our whole world gets rocked.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I do believe that leaders are judged according to a higher standard (Jas 3:1), therefore it is their responsibility to live their lives above reproach. But the reality is that there is no one who is perfect except for Jesus Christ. Therefore, if we put leaders or pastors as the ultimate example then we will get disappointed – NO MATTER WHAT.
Whenever we get critical of the Church, the first thing we should do is look in the mirror. If the Church is not a building or a place that we just go to, but rather it is a made up of people, then we have to conclude that the Church here on this earth will always be imperfect. In fact, I have said it many times before, but if you find a perfect church please do not join it because you will ruin it.
The Church will always disappoint. It will always make mistakes. It will always be hypocritical. It will always be flawed. It will not always meet you needs.
Then why should I be a part of a church and even commit to it?
Well, let me allow God’s Word to explain:
“… Just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Eph 5:25-27 NIV).
Maybe this translation will help you to visualize it more:
“Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness” (The Message).