The Church … Not a church, but THE CHURCH. The love of God. Those for whom Jesus Christ died a cruel, inhumane death. Those for whom He paid the price of salvation. The church.
I believe with all of my heart the church is under attack. From a variety of places.
Satan leads the attack. Sometimes from outside, and sometimes from inside. He attacks with pride. He attacks with pop-culture references and public opinions. It’s funny how the public can so readily form an opinion about things they really don’t understand. YES, there are elements of the church and elements of living for Christ that can only be understood by those who have a relationship with Him. And we are attacked for this.
There are others who attack. Sometimes they don’t even realize it. Those who bring their own agendas into the local church. Those who refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit, or even frame their agendas in the frame of a call from God. (If I walked up to you right now, punched you in the face, and then proclaimed that God called me to do it, would that make it acceptable???)
There are some who lead others in ways that are contrary to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Some who cause damage to the church family without even realize it. I really believe some of them are NOT doing this intentionally, and would NEVER hurt the church if they realized it. But they are so focussed on THEIR needs, on THEIR goals, on what THEY want, that they forget to stop and ask God what HE wants for them. It hurts the church by misleading others, perhaps teaching them things that are contrary to the purpose of the church. And this is VERY UNHEALTHY.
There are also some who do this quite purposefully. It always amazes me that there are people on this planet who thrive on conflict. They are not happy unless they are unhappy. Some of them enjoy being the victim, and everything that happens in life is the fault of another. Perhaps they enjoy the attention. I like peace in life too much to live that way … but that is just me. A church can be an easy target for controversy and “stirring things up.” And this, again, is VERY UNHEALTHY.
The healthiest church member is one that treats the church like a family, not like the K&W Cafeteria, picking and choosing which part of God’s word to which they will listen. The healthiest church member has read Paul’s many descriptions of a healthy church. One of the things Paul believed in is the gifting of God to the local church. God gives every church the gifts she needs to do what God calls her to do. How can we be all God wants us to be if we are treating His church badly? One of our responsibilities is to find our gift and EXERCISE IT as part of the bigger picture of our church.
Is your church a home?? A family?? Or something else?
THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST AND SHOULD BE TREATED WITH ALL OF THE RESPECT SHE DESERVES.