“But I am afraid that, even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, your minds may be corrupted and led away from the simplicity of (your sincere and) pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3, AMP).”
It was another “one of those.” Another post coming through my newsfeed. Another opinion on what was wrong with the church and how it should look. According, of course, to a human.
I cannot lie. The year-long sabbatical from social media was great. For all the fun there was in the cyber equivalent of “gathering around the water cooler,” there was much that wasn’t so great. Drama. Negativity. Whining. Criticism. And fear. Always, a drumbeat of fear.
Much of the mongering, I noted, centered around the country and its direction. “America’s burning! It’s going to hell in that basket!” And on and on and so on and so forth with a plethora of links to more voices. All shouting. Shouting fear and death and destruction. My Lord! Come, help!
And the voices, I couldn’t help but see, were “Christian.”
Then, in the tide of “information” and “insight” were shouts of alarm about the church, Christ’s own bride. Again, much clamor and picking and criticism and complaining. Again, from “Christian” voices.
Let’s stop. Just–stop for a moment and try to get our bearings. Is America in trouble? Yes. Oh, yes, it is. And we should not be surprised. For God’s Word lays out how the end’s gonna look, and in the end, it’s gonna get hard. And frightening.
Now, the church. Is the church in trouble? Well, the Body has always been messy. Yes, it has. But what if the picking over lights, over music, over instruments and worship. Over how to’s, how not’s, the shoulds and the shouldn’ts. What if all of that is a ruse, a distraction to get us to focus everywhere else…but on Him.
On the simplicity that is found in Lord Christ. Our Lord (My Lord!) and Friend.
The church that we’ve got is imperfect. But it’s His. His body. His family. His bride. It’s Jesus.
The country we’ve got is imperfect, but we live here. His body. His family. His bride. In America.
There is a way to be balanced. Yes, there is. We cannot merely complain, cry ‘foul,’ expose errors, pass judgment without offering His mercy and love. Salt and light.
The world (the one that’s dying and lost) needs Him. Needs a church that is focused on Christ, then on people, and everything else after that. That’s simplicity.
Sound a warning if His Spirit tells you, but always for love–love of Him, love of others, for redemption. But show love, or you are a clanging cymbal. And I can’t follow.
Be salt. Make ’em thirsty.
Be light. Show the way.
Be Jesus with skin. Giving love. To the messy.
For Christ, for His bride, with affection,