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.