I get it. I do. The church is a messy place. We’ve all been hurt by other Christians. Some of the very leaders who should’ve been our shepherds have taken advantage of us, abused us, and betrayed us. I’ve been there but I’m still part of the church. Not just the Church, but a specific church.
There’s a growing trend of young Christians who’ve seen all the messiness of the church and have decided, “I love Jesus but the church? Not so much.” These people have walked away from the church. Yeah maybe they attend a service here or there. Maybe they even attend semi-regularly but they’re not invested in the church. They’re not under authority in the church.
Honestly, being outside of the church is a frightening place to be.
Cynicism towards the church is cynicism towards God. The church is God’s bride. He sent his Son to bleed for her--because she was filthy, dirty, and in need of redemption (Roms 5:8). Not in spite of it.
How many of you have quit working, going to your favorite coffee shop, or generally living life among sinners because of the messiness of the people involved in all those areas of life? Very few. Yet some how we think Church should be different. In way, “Yes,” and “No.” Yes we are the redeemed of God but we’re left here justified sinners. We’re not there yet.
Many of us (myself included) have had an unrealistic view of the church. We forget her wedding dress is white because it’s been dipped in blood. She’s a bloody valentine.
You wanna know the beauty of the gospel? It’s the only worldview that takes into account all of life, all of what we see on earth. It says we have dignity, value, and purpose as image bearers. But it speaks frankly of the dark under belly of humanity. We are all sinners.
So let’s not walk around glibly like we’re not part of the problem. Like we’ve never hurt someone. Like our dress was white from the start. All sinners require redemption by the blood of Christ and wait for groom to be perfected once and for all. We're all bloody Valentines.