Jesus didn’t say a lot about church however when He did, He said He would build it.
So much has happened with me over the years and particularly the recent years it has caused me to question and ask what did He mean by church and how should we apply that in our lives? I have concluded that when Jesus said church, He meant people who demonstrate unconditional love and grace, recognising that He lives in us and us in Him. That doesn’t sound too radical does it but the implications for the average professing Christian is massive. When you look at how it functions and the impact on the outcome it is radical and liberating.
He said “Upon this rock, I will build my church…” Matthew 16:18. My understanding of this is that the rock in question is Jesus, and the ramifications of this is how we function together as His church. Now one must question what it would look like. The simple answer is it would look like Jesus.
If we are to recall the fact that Jesus was a part of the creation process and had the power to discard the universe, yet He went from being God in heaven and came to this earth through the natural process as us to this earth. He served His people as a servant many of whom were His enemies.
Here is how I believe He wishes His church to be built.
Let us consider the fact that His desire should be that we should not lord ourselves over one another we can then begin to recognise I believe what church should be like: –
- People who naturally love one another because of how and who we are.
- Where grace and love flow in abundance.
- People who make room for one another despite differences of all kinds.
- Where difference is not disunity.
This theoretically is how many churches would say they are but let us be truthful and say it is a stark contrast in how they operate. Structures of control and manipulation, lifestyles, enforced types of “worship”, special titles, misappropriation of finances etc. Once we establish a special class of person whose position afford them authority over the people we cease to be being built as His church.
Sadly, the idea of being a family they would far rather attend meetings put on by an organisation whose demands go no further than an external commitment to some beliefs, but do not participate in what they believe. They move on to financial contributions to questionable expenditure and many in disagreement but live in fear of not rocking the boat.
Where do you stand?