Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Splintered Body

HOW is Jesus in the world by the power of the Spirit? He's in the world by Spirit-empowered New Humanity, aka, the "Bride of Christ." The church is the visible, or physical body of Christ on this earth. We not invited to participate...we are that Body. And we're either telling the truth about who Jesus is by the way we love one another or we're telling a lie, in which case we need to repent. If I were an unbeliever and I saw the way the church was splintered over so many factions, i.e. denominations, age, race, etc. I would find it disgusting. A whole "body" is a beautiful thing. A splintered "body" is repulsive and gross. Who wants to be a part of that??? People are not flocking to the American evangelical church from outside because, quite frankly they find our lack of love for one another and lack of unity to be quite grotesque. Until the church in America, and other parts of the Western church recovers, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, she's going to continue to have a "revolving door" type church membership.

The church is not the destination, the Kingdom of God is. But the church is the heart of that Kingdom, and in principle, she is already there. The world is groaning and longing to be changed and it is looking to us to see what that change looks like. The church alone has been given the message of the Gospel and it is that Spirit-empowered message which has the power to transform, (and is transforming) this world and making all things new.


Micah said...

Thanks for the insightful post Chris. Being the ever analytical/pessimistic one, I have to pose these questions: How do we do this? Which "one faith" should we choose? Whose got it right? Should we abandon all distinctives and simply subscribe to the Apostle's Creed? Which sect best represents Christianity? How do we move toward unity? Can a Cessationistic Calvinistic Presbyterian worship comfortably alongside a Charismatic Semi-Pelagian Roman Catholic? Even so Lord, come quickly and unite us all in Christ as He so wonderfully and fervently prays in John 17!

Chris said...

The Apostle's Creed is a very good place to start. No one sect or denomination gets everything right. It's generally the ones who think they do, who tend sometimes to be the most unloving. Dot "i's" and cross "t's" as much as we want, if we can't love one another, we're not bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Of course, I'm not saying abandon doctrinal convictions, but we've got to be able to love each other, and be able to say, "Even though we may disagree on this, he's still my brother in Christ.

The "one faith" we all ascribe to is faith in Jesus Christ as He has been revealed in Holy Scriptures. Pooey on the "Reformed" faith, "Charismatic" faith, "Presbyterian" faith, "Roman Catholic" faith. "Federal Vision" faith, "Dispenational" faith. Faith in denominations or theology, for that matter, will not save. Faith in Christ alone saves. I said the Apostle's Creed is a good starting place because almost all "Christian" churches can easily ascribe to this.