This post is completely opposite of the previous post. This is what I mean when I say that sometimes I over think things.
2.) Who are we to think that we can change the Church?
If I asked the question: “what would you change in the Church?” what would come to mind? For some, it might be the sermon…or maybe the interior…or perhaps the small group system…or maybe the worship…or the staff…or the theology behind certain doctrines…
We could come up with a list of things that we feel should be changed. But isn’t there something inherently wrong with us thinking we can change the Church? When did we become so mighty to think that we knew what needed to be done to the Church?
I don’t know about you, but I am terrified of leading within the Church. It’s not a business nor is it a political structure…it is the bride of Christ. It belongs to Him and yet He entrusted us with her care.
I always fear how I will answer for what I did to the Bride of Christ.
Sometimes in pursuit of overthrowing Pharisees, we find that we become the Pharisee.
Sometimes in pursuit of bringing in the prostitutes and thieves, we find that we no longer function as a church.
Sometimes in pursuit of becoming more “culturally relevant,” we find that we no longer use Scripture.
Sometimes in pursuit of change, we find that we no longer look like the Bride of Christ.
So I ask the question again: Who are we to think that we can change the Church? I fear that we are so quick to change that we will let any idea by that doesn’t look like a “traditional” church. Instead of becoming a “holy” people, we become a “culturally relevant” people.
If we are the future of the Church, the future is looking very bleak. We are caught up in a battle of Pharisees versus Pharisees. Each group refuses to see themselves as a Pharisee. I used to. Then I looked at myself and realized, I am no different.
We have as many idols as anyone else. Our generation seeks change and we think that we are being Christ and everyone who opposes us is a Pharisee. We don’t back down from our beliefs just like they won’t back down from their beliefs. We are no different.
So to my fellow friends in the younger generation: we can be as much of a Pharisee as anyone else. Our ideas are not revolutionary. Our ideas are not pure. Our change is not the right change.
So the first blog focused on the change that needs to occur. This blog focuses on the fact that change could be bad. I do not know how to express this clearly. We all need to put down our guns. We all need to stop thinking that we have the most innovative idea for the Church. We all need to stop thinking that we will be the greatest change in the Church (or that we know of the greatest change that needs to occur). Every time we seek change, it should be done from a humble position. For who are we to change the Bride of Christ? Remember that.
It is rumored that St. Augustine one said, “The Church is a whore but she is still my mother.” If that is the case, let’s work together to make the harlot worthy of her bridegroom.
6 thoughts on “Making the Harlot Worthy of Her Bridegroom”
That is the problem, isn’t it? We are trying to change a system, a building, a denomination… if change is provoked it is because His bride has come out of the temple, where the veil (curtain) has already been ripped Mark 15:38. She rubs her eyes and hears for the first time, His voice… because the many voices of denomination, doctrine, and busyness is silenced behind a heavy door.
We all who call upon the name of Christ, who willingly submit to Him, are called Bride. It is not a change for change’s sake that is happening my brother- it is a wooing by God of God’s Bride out of “religion” and into the arms of a savior.
This is uncomfortable because for many it is unfamiliar. What does one do without the comfort and habit of tradition?
I so enjoy your thought provoking posts.
The Renegade Bride
Excellent post with great insight Caleb. I was left thinking there is a side also that looks to keep the church a harlot chasing after other ‘gods’ that are not gods at all, esp. the inwardly focused and, perhaps, in many way, the trendy ‘culturally relevant’ (culturally submissive) church. But your thought still stands, who are we to say this is how the church should change?
Exactly! We want to change the church, but I have a problem with changing it. Who am I to do that? But on the other hand, obvious change needs to occur. There is never an easy answer.
I want to say that I am concerned that the people that Jesus spent so much time with…sinners, tax collectors, “outsiders”…are still with us, and I think that they don’t feel particularly welcome in the church. When I visit a new church (maybe recommended by a friend) I have to remind myself that Jesus paid the price for me to be able to go through that door and sit in that pew. But for an “outsider” I think that they will have an even tougher time getting through that door. I am really glad that you are bringing up these questions. We may not have the answers but if we don’t recognize that we can do better, then we never will.
It’s saddening and yet at the same time, we grow callous toward it. We know of the problems in the church, but we just let them go because we don’t want to cause too many problems.