I have a confession. I didn’t originally begin this blog as a venue for airing my dirty laundry. I certainly didn’t want this to become an exposé. But I just can’t go any longer without letting you in on my secret.
I love the bride of Christ.
There. I said it. The church–I love her. And she’s betrothed to Jesus.
So I love another man’s bride.
But I think Jesus is alright with that. Come to think of it, He’d probably have a problem with me claiming to be one of His followers if I DIDN’T love His bride.
And yet, I continue to hear so-called Christians saying just such things. This has several problems.
To begin with, Jesus loves His bride. He died for her, He’s sanctifying her, and He’s returning for her. Most loving husbands I know will defend their brides against physical and verbal attack. I can only assume Jesus stands ready to defend His bride as well. Be careful what you say against the bride of such a powerful Bridegroom.
Furthermore, the very Christians who claim disdain for the church may not realize that they, themselves, make up the church. The church is not a building; nor is it merely its leadership chosen by the Holy Spirit. The church, by definition, is Christians everywhere from all time.
Finally, there’s a difference between disliking the church and voicing concerns about its health. The church is not perfect, because it is made up of imperfect building materials: Christians. Only the Builder of the church is perfect (that’s Jesus, remember? “I will build My church…”). We can voice our concerns and still love the church. My point is that you’d better not lack the second part.
You’re going to read lots of my ideas about the church if you stick with me. But you won’t hear me say the foolish things people tend to overuse, like “the church is broken” and “we need to recreate the first-century church.” Each of these will require their own post to explain why they are misguided.
I haven’t always appreciated the church’s beauty the way I do today. Perhaps you, too, can learn to fall in love with another man’s bride like I have.