Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm realizing what is causing a great divide among and within all churches.  It's taken me a bit; but I believe something very simple has developed over the centuries which is going unnoticed because its damage has been so acceptable.  Believers are under threat when we make the church King rather than Christ.

All would agree yet all do not practice; I have not practiced.  Jesus is a tough name to say...for the church people....have you noticed?  Listen in on the speech of your congregation; especially your leaders.  Is the church discussed or Jesus?  Still....this can seem rather to be tedium except for its tremendous cost.

Jesus will lead us to be his church.  But churches will not necessarily lead us to Jesus.  He said as much in John 5:39-40.  It is that text that declares the faithful-efforted would spend their time in the Word while failing to come to know him.

Listen to us talk.  Do we try to lead people to Jesus...or to the church?  Do we talk about being members of Christ or of the church?  Do we make grand effort to urge neighbors to know the grace of Jesus or the pattern of the church?  Are we wishing to convert them to Jesus....or the church of Christ?

I believe the Baptists, the Catholics, and the other denominations have the same flaw as we.....if they try to lead people to their church rather than their Savior.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; but if not careful we will begin to believe and behave as if our set of rituals and rigors are precisely what every individual needs to know before they die. 

Not true. 

They must know Jesus before they die.  They must confess Jesus; not the true church before they die.  They must be baptized in to Christ; not into the true church before they die.  They will be thrilled over their discovery of abundant life when Jesus is the master.  If church rule is the actual goal then we have converted our communities to a body without a head. 

Bad picture. 

Catastrophic path. 

Dark ending. 

No Jesus?  No or later.


John Dobbs said...

An elderly friend said to me recently, "I wish every church would just take down their signs and be who they are. People would find God in a setting that meant a lot to them." Given that no church does it all right, knows all there is to know, but if they proclaim Jesus, they can be centered in the right place ... I think there was an interesting perspective there. Do not comment often, but read and love you.

Steven said...

Very true Terry. The body of Christ must see Him as the great Physician. We don't fix the problem we only assist in helping them realize they need Christ through renewal of their mind. Teaching them the new healthy way of walking.

Your information can be documented in this recent study of 1 in 8 Christians have switched to an ex-Christian. See reference

Our light must be His light with the compassion of knowing we are only nurses in the kingdom.

Anonymous said...

When I read scriptures such as John 5 that you pointed out, I'm more and more blown away at how similar we are to the Pharisees and Jews of Jesus's day. At times we can literally push Christ away in favor of the "church" as we like to do it.
Why are we so content and secure in our supposed knowledge when there is so much about God that we will never understand?
How can we not realize that we don't have it all "right", and then criticize, or be afraid of, another group who may (or may not) be interpreting something wrong?


Janice Garrison said...

Too often this seems to be the case. I know the importance of helping those in need yet sometimes I fear that when it is done in the community as ‘a body’ rather than individually that it can become like putting an ‘x’ in a box on a to do list. We should be eager to tell others how our life has been transformed because of Jesus. I fear sometimes people don’t realize they (we) are the church and that it’s not some place to go on Sundays.

1 Cor 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Greg England said...

While preaching at three different churches over my 30 years in paid ministry, I ruffled a LOT of feathers and drove off people because I was insistent that our allegiance be to Christ and not the "church of" Christ. Seems some have been taught for so long that the two are synonymous that they no longer can see Christ for the church signs.

Randy Mitchell said...

I agree 100%. This past winter and spring I taught a class entitled Bible 101. We studied Jesus from the book of John. We have too long strayed away from focusing on Jesus and put the focus on our local congregations and their history. It is no wonder people get disillusioned and stop worshipping God, because many were converted to a particular congregation, youth group, or anything or anyone other than Jesus.

Thank you for leading us to focus on Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am seeing this in my own life right now in so much as I don't want to go to church but to truly find Christ. I have been looking for him at church services only to be disappointed. I am looking for Jesus and am excited, a little confused but so ready.