I’m ready to pick a fight…


OK, so I’m, admittedly so, not much of a fighter. I don’t typically like arguments. I don’t normally pick fights. In fact, I can’t think of more than a couple of arguments I’ve picked in my entire life.

(there was the one time I through a guy against a locker in high school for calling my girlfriend… and now wife… a ‘bad’ word.)

Anyway… I’ve been training at home in kick boxing lately. (great workout by the way.)

And I’ve spent a great deal of time in the Bible and surrounded by other Christian leaders lately.

And there are a few issues that I think need to be addressed. And although I don’t desire an argumentative tone, I will stand and fight for these issues. That’s how important they are to me personally. I hope this is helpful.

The Church of Jesus Christ… (including various denominations, uniqueness, etc.) is the greatest, strongest and coolest thing on the plant.

Not because of the people in it by the way… but because of the God who started it, died for it & will continue it until its completed end. The church has been under attack lately. Mostly, its been under attack from within. (I’m speaking of mostly an American phenomenon here.)

People who have decided that the church is useless, weak or even totally misguided in nature have picked a fight. And I must say something.

The church is beautiful. The church is powerful. The church is the primary expression of Jesus on the earth and among human beings. The church plays a MAJOR role in God’s renewing of the world and salvation of its people.

The church doesn’t always look the same. It morphs into what it needs to be in different cultures to do its job in those cultures. The church exists in cathedrals, homes, public places & steepled brick buildings… This is called ‘incarnational’.

I’m not saying that the church is perfect. In fact, I’d be quick to say its not. I’m in it… that means it can’t be perfect.

But when the church isn’t perfect… its dedicated leaders jump in and try to fix the problem. Its dedicated members pray for it, serve in it, love the people of it & seek ways to improve it.

We don’t forsake it for things that make life easier and smoother for ourselves and our families.

The church is biblically supposed to include… but not limited to…

A. Biblical Preaching & Proclamation of God’s Will & Word…
B. People who live moral, honorable lives caring for their families and blessing their communities.
C. Caring for the unfortunate and helpless in any community like the feeding of the hungry and the welcoming of the lonely.
D. Sharing of the Gospel. This includes the honest proclaiming of truth about sin, sinfulness and ‘lostness’ of our souls… while also including the beautiful Good News of the salvation of lives through the one and only Jesus Christ, Son of God.
E. The maturing and growth of individual Christians so that their lives grow deeper in study, further in mission & greater in relationship with God and other believers.
F. The collective use of finances through tithing and offerings where the Christian families bring God his tithe and share occasional additional offerings from their income & wealth. This money is to be used to provide the necessities of the church itself, share with other Christian ministries locally, regionally & globally… and to help care for the poor and helpless.
G. The endorsement & training of qualified leaders. These leaders take a great deal of the weight of the church onto their shoulders. These leaders expect to be judged… both by God and people… more harshly because of their role in the church. These leaders should either be highly beloved when they are good leaders… or they should be quickly dealt with by other leaders when they are repeatedly wrong or ungodly. Occasionally, bad leaders were even publicly ‘outed’ for the sake of the gospel.
H. The study of the Bible privately, socially, personally & even publicly. The Bible is the written Word of God. And we as His Church need to know His Word.
I. As the ‘salt’ of the earth and the ‘light’ of the world… the Church is one part ‘preservative’ … holding on to the things that should and will never change… while also being the ‘projection’ forward helping change and develop the world from a dark place to one with much more Godly enlightenment.

The church is the most important thing to God on the planet.

Can you imagine any other organization or group of people with this kind of mission? Is there anyone else trying to accomplish this beautiful of an outcome.

Were talking about the helpless being loved, the lonely being welcomed, the lost being saved & the broken being healed.

That’s what the church is about. And that church… Jesus’ Church… deserves better and more from all of us.

There was a time when I was angry at the church. I spoke out against her. And Jesus told me to stop talking that way about His Bride. And so I did. And now I take issue with those who do what I once did.

Stop speaking out against the best thing on the planet. Where she is wrong… help lead her to correction. But don’t stand in her way. Be a part of the church. Find a church home. Serve in that church. Give financially to that church. Invite others to that church. Be dependable to that church. If you have leadership gifts, dedicate them to the success of your church.

Lets do this together. God is for us. Who can be against us.

Brad

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