November 30, 2005

Ecclesiology

I love the church. I understand that it has its problems, but I love the thought of the church. Especially as it is found in Acts 2:42-47. I love the thought of people gathering in authentic faith-communities to worship God, fellowship, and serve others. These are people doing life together. They are seeing God's miracles done in their midst. What an awesome place to be!

Unfortunately, much of what we call church was never conceived in Acts 2. It doesn't mean it is wrong, as much of it is culturally developed, but it does offer some challenges. Often we have focused more on programs than people. We have given ourselves excuses for not helping the poor and hurting. Excuses such as, "We give money to the local homeless shelter." We have built empires that require great financial backing to sustain them. (The church should ask for money, and people should willingly give it. Not to sustain, but to serve. Sacrificial giving of our finances is an act of worship.)

The Church should be a place of hope and healing; a community of loving Jesus followers dedicated to transforming the world. It should be a place where worship is done authentically, whatever the desired style. It should be a place where the foreigner, the widow, and the fatherless (the poor, the lost, the hopeless) are able to find help. It should be a place where people can safely explore and discuss the Christian faith.

There is a place for critic when talking about the church, but not for criticism. Criticism implies a critic with no offer to change things or offer of a direction for change. Criticism also comes from a heart that does not love.

We must love the Church, but I don't think we have to love all its forms. I personally think there have been times in its past where it might have been sinful to love the form of "church" that was prevelant. I think there is a lot to learn in the Great Commandment for our understanding of Church.

1 comment:

  1. Where does corporate worship fit into the context of "church"? We spend a lot of time and money attempting to act like the church instead of "being the church." I'm not saying there is not room for ritual, worship, song, etc. But should we spend so much time emphasizing the excellence of such activiites when we often come up short in the area of being Christ to our communities/World?

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