I love Church and I hate church. I need a Church for survival and church tries to kill me. Church fills me with love, support, confidence, and hope; church fills me with shame, regret, contempt, and guilt. A Church wants what is best for me and a church wants what is best for it. A Church is always excited to see me, while church only wants to see me succeed and blames me when I fail.
Obviously, I am speaking from a Christian point of view, but the ironic thing is that you do not need to believe in Jesus to belong to a Church, but you MUST believe in Jesus to belong to a church.
I’m making a point about the difference between Church (capital ‘C’) as Jesus’ body and church (lowercase ‘c’) as our futile organizations.
Michael Spencer wrote an article a few weeks ago publicizing his interpretation of the collapse of evangelicalism. I add the link because I think you should read it. I think he makes valid points and uses sound reasoning.
I bring this up because I want to talk about what comes AFTER the collapse of evangelicalism (I lean more towards shift than collapse).
In John 2 Jesus “cleanses the temple” and in this action he is asked by which sign he intends to use to stake his authority to do so. His response is, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
Evangelicals have fallen into the same habits of false doctrine, inequality before the throne, and security. We don’t read our Bibles, we nuzzle close to politicians, we blame everyone else for the mess, and we rely on ourselves to acquire meaning, purpose, and joy. We represent everything Jesus stood against… including desecration of the temple.
We found out after the resurrection that Jesus meant his own body as the temple. Not the physical building. We are now Christ’s body, we are the temple, both individually and collectively. We have sinned against ourselves, against humanity, and all of creation. We are not fulfilling our command to love one another.
Given our innate depravity to do good without Christ, I think it is only proper that every once in a while we are destroyed collectively that we might be restored as a whole.
Luke 9 describes how we should go about achieving Romans 6; that we actively seek it!
So once we have sought our collective death I ask how we go about rebuilding a Church (capital ‘C’)?
I would answer it as one act of love at a time. Mother Teresa was known for saying, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
So may we seek the purification of Christ’s body by taking our cross and putting to death our own imperfections rather than putting nails in each others hands. And may we live more like Christ by reaching out to each other in acts of love regardless of gender, cultural background, OR religious preference.