On The Soap Box Today: Bashing the Church

I heard it again this week. Someone was speaking negatively about the church. Seems lately it’s the “in” thing to beat up on “church.” For example, recently a lady told me, “I love God. I love Jesus, but I don’t see any need for the church. Besides, the church is nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.” This lady isn’t the first to say negative things about the church. I it happens all the time.

It seems to me that we’re okay beating up on the church, but we’d never talk bad about the kingdom of God. No one ever says, “The kingdom of God is such a joke,” or “The kingdom of God is a waste of time. I tried it and see no use for it.” And the last I checked, the Kingdom of God and the church go hand in hand. We wouldn’t dare talk negatively about the kingdom of God, which is the church, but we are willing to talk that way about the church.

I’ll admit I get frustrated with things that go on in the church too. But I think many have gone a little overboard with the way they talk negatively about the church. So, I’d like to share a few things I think about the church…

  • The church is the bride of Christ. Have you ever thought about that when you talk trash about the Lord’s church with your words, you’re actually taking trash about the Lord’s bride. Any normal man is going to punch you in the mouth for talking trash about their bride, so if you’re willing to talk about the Lord’s bride in negative ways, you’re a braver man than I (Ephesians 5:25-27).

  • The church IS full of hypocrites: A hypocrite is someone who doesn’t consistently live out what he believes. I will be the first to admit that I am a hypocrite, because I don’t always consistently live out what I believe. The church is the perfect place for the hypocrites, sinners and spiritually sick. If you go to a hospital, you find sick people who are wanting to get well. If you go to a church, you find spiritually sick people who are wanting to get spiritually well. So, yes, the church is full of imperfect people. There was only one perfect man, I’m not him and you’re not either (2 Corinthians 5:21).

  • The church has the best people in the world in it. Yes, I know there are a few old grouches, but all in all, the church is full of the most loving, caring and gracious people. As the old saying goes, “the church is the light of the world, and every good light attracts a few bugs.” There will always be a few old bug, but I’ve met thousands and thousands of Christ-like people. People who make me proud to say, “I’m a Christian” (Galatians 5:22-26).

  • “But someone in the church hurt my feelings.” Deal with it! I’m sure it’s not the first time your feelings were hurt, nor will it be the last time either. Just because someone “wrongs” us doesn’t mean we have to storm out, refusing never to go back. I thought we gave that up in Kindergarten. I recently asked a man why he didn’t go to church and he told me, “I grew up in the church but left it, because one Sunday a man told me he didn’t think I could participate in the Lord’s Supper because he wasn’t sure about my baptism.” Ouch! I apologized for whoever the foolish man was and his actions, but reminded him that leaving the church and talking bad about the church for the rest of his life wasn’t the answer. Just because someone does you wrong doesn’t mean everyone is bad! I once had a car stereo stolen out of my pickup by a homeless teen. I didn’t start hating all homeless people, nor did it make all teenagers thieves.

Before you go around talking bad about the church, let’s remember that the church is the bride of Christ whom Jesus died for (Ephesians 5:25). Sorry about the soapbox, but wow, I feel better getting all that off my chest today.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
20 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Neva says:

    Trey,
    Thank you for your comments. I think we forget the church is the Bride of Christ. If you want to make my husband angry, bash me. He knows I am not perfect but he loves me. I have often wondered how upset Jesus gets when His bride is demeaned and gossiped about. He, too knows we are not perfect but He loves us. By the way, if we were perfect, few people would feel welcome here and we would have no need for the blood.
    Sorry you missed the workshop. It was wonderful!! You may have to order the cds.

    In Him
    Neva

  2. Messianic Gentile says:

    Wow, sounds like a sensitive spot.

    You probably won’t like much of my blog then. I have tons and tons and tons and tons of negative things to say about the church. In fact I cannot see the bottom of that barrel.

    However, NT Wright talks in several places where he is discussing Jesus as a prophet, about the tradition of “critique from within.” I love the church, and I take my stand from within, but she has a lot of idolatry in her and needs to change BAD.

    As for getting mad, leaving and damning the church as you go, I am with you. That is not helpful. Only destructive to both the church and the critic. And I think it is a by-product of our Modern American rugged individualist heritage. The church must counter act that mentality.

    Many blessings…

  3. Trey Morgan says:

    Messianic … I understand the church has a lot of areas that need to change (a post later this week). We need to look more like Christ and less like the world. The church also needs to do less finger pointing and be more accepting. I think it does need to come from with in. I imagine you and I were raised a lot a like (in very legalistic churches). I’ll share more later….

    Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  4. Mommysmart says:

    It sort of amazes me that we hold our brothers and sisters (the church) to higher accountability than others in our lives. If we are wronged on the job, we don’t quit going to work. If we have a disagreement with our siblings we don’t leave the family. We work for resolve because we need our jobs and our families. We also need our “church”. We all sin and fall short and sometimes that might hurt a brother or sister. I think that it is our responsibility to work to reslove hurts with each other so that we can all effectively serve God.

    Besides how can we ever grow the body of Christ if we are all pouted up with each other. I wouldn’t expect that we can tell others “please join with us in service to God and let me add these chips to your shoulders so that you will fit in”.

  5. Paula Harrington says:

    Excellent post! I agree on all counts and hoped that someone would write about this! Glad that “someone” was you. I’m right up there on that soap box with you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Trey

    There is a problem in the church, but it is not the church!

    The church, the bride is perfect, the parts of the body that refuse to stay on the alter who insiston self first is the problem.

    preach the word

    ned cooper

  7. Trey Morgan says:

    Monica

    I think you said everything I wanted to say in two paragraphs. You’re right … only in the church do we walk out when we don’t like something. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Trey Morgan says:

    Ned …
    I think our (my) frustrations with the church are not really with “the church” but really with “religion” and “traditions.”

    Make sense?

  9. Bobby Cohoon says:

    Great post Trey. Ain’t it good that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, only to strive for perfection.

    Bobby

  10. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I think you are exactly right about “religion” and traditions being the problem. When you add the legalism in like you said to Messianic Gentile, then of course you have a reason for people who are looking for a way out to complain or leave. Our goal is to be a bride that Christ would want and not give others a reason to look for that way out.

    Some people just have a shallow commitment to the Church.

    Kathy

  11. Tim Archer says:

    What I don’t get is how we can talk about the church in the third person, as if we weren’t part of it.

    Good thoughts.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim

  12. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey,

    I appreciate your frustration with bashers. One thing that I see as important is destinguishing between the church and the Church. There are many who said “Lord Lord” who Jesus said he would not know. WE must realize that not all the wolves are sheep.

    I also appreciate the comments about hypocrites. I are one too. On the other hand the sick sometimes don’t want to get better. They infect others and some really sick people do it on purpose.

    The teen thief assumption is maybe false. Some do jump to that conclusion. They are mistrusting and cynical or sometimes down right hateful. Of course the homeless will steal you blind (that is the thinking at least). There are those out there who find fault who think if you speak out you are maligning the bride. In fact they are the ones who are dragging her dress through the mud. More than once I have felt the gaurdinas of the truth are shoving us out of the church “their church”.

    James

  13. Messianic Gentile says:

    Trey,

    You have been very gracious toward me. It is deeply appreciated. Thank you. I hope that I am as well.

    My comments on your blog seem to draw more interest than elsewhere. And I am not entirely in agreement with you, as I see it. However, that is not to say I am entirely in disagreement either, and perhaps you see that clearer than I do. It is hard to say.

    But with these things in mind, I offer a reference to a recent post I made on my blog that goes a long way to explaining my vantage ground. I do not know how to link it here, but any who are interested can cut and paste. I hope to be as gracious a hoste as you have been.

    Make no mistake, I LOVE the church. That is in no doubt with me. And I have NO warm fuzzy feelings for her either. I mean LOVE as a verb not a feeling.

    here is the site url:

    http://mikez-blog.blogspot.com/2007/01/ministry-and-me-ia-addendum-to-previous.html

    Thank you for your kind feedback and care…

    Many blessings…

  14. Lisa says:

    Thanks for your comment today on my post. You’re the second Trey I’ve met this week, and before that my brother was the only Trey I knew personally.

    I agree that we need to be careful about bashing the church. Even bashing the imperfect people in the church isn’t pleasing to God. It’s hard to push for change, though, if you aren’t open about what needs to be changed. Perhaps that’s where messianic gentile is going? (I guess I’ll have to go check his blog to find out) I don’t have anything else to add that hasn’t already been said; but you have a great blog here, & you can rest assured I’ll be back! Keep up the good work.

  15. Trey Morgan says:

    Messianic,

    I’ve read that post you sent the link to. I appreciate your ministry to “stand in the gap” between those who seperated by conflict, frustrations, or whatever other reason … You may have a lot more pull with those who “don’t like church” than others like me who they see as “enemy.”

  16. Trey Morgan says:

    Lisa … glad you came by. Thanks for adding your wisdom to the discussion. I’m glad you’ll be back.

    Blessings

  17. Gallagher says:

    Excellent post and thoughtful and thought provoking words.

    What frustrates me more than anything is the downgrading of the church while offering no solution on how to fix the problem. I am more interested in fixing the problem than a 30 minute rant on what is wrong.

    Just my opinion. Great thoughts!

  18. bb says:

    Trey,

    First and foremost, thanks for being Christlike! You appropriately introduce a worthy subject without becoming a victim of satan’s by doing the same thing you introduced – bashing. Good job on keeping a positive spin.

    When church bashers bash I have to remind myself that I have “yet to resist to bloodshed” and “to follow in his steps” and it seems in the text “to follow in his steps” is to not open my mouth when being persecuted or bashed. I am sure there is more to it but it is at the least that.

    I view church bashers like republicans view democrats – not wanted but needed! And vice versa.
    Winning over church bashers is like winning over unbelieving husbands – with lifestyle.

    As far as bashers are concerned …. Intelligent people talk about ideas and concepts, average people talk about things, and below average people speak about people. Not sure how true to form that is but it seems to fit the norm.

    bb

  19. Trey Morgan says:

    bb … thanks for the kind words. I agree wholeheartedly with you on your comments. Thanks for stopping by and come back again!

    Blessings

  20. Confessing Lunatic says:

    Wow, seems as if the folks that live in your town in Texas live in my town in Texas, too. They may even be blood relatives. ;o)

    As a wife of a youth minister and daughter in law of a pastor, I cannot count the times I have heard that a person stopped coming to my church because so-and-so hurt their feelings. You articulated what I have longed to say many times.

    I appreciate the scripture that you use to back up your thoughts, too. I pray that one day I will be able to be so succinct.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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