|I Hate the Church, But I Love Jesus
By Greg Sanders
“I hate the church, but I love Jesus” is a sentiment that I have had several people tell me over the years. Failure, disappointment, and hurts by people in the church have translated to a negative connotation with the body of Christ. This line of thinking has caused me to ask, “How passionate can someone’s love for Christ really be if they hold such disdain for His body?”
Ephesians 5:31 reminds us that Christ is closely connected to the church. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. The Apostle Paul reminds us that Christ’s relationship with the church is just like a person’s relationship with his or her spouse. The two have become one. Think about it this way: How close can you really be to someone who is married to someone you despise? At some point your bitterness towards one spouse is going to limit your relationship to the other.
The world is filled with people whose life with God has been put on hold because of hurts that need to be healed. Christ is perfect but the church is filled with people who are not. How can we walk with people who are phony, faulty, and prone to failure? It is actually easy when you think about it. You, at some point, were part of the phony, faulty, and failing crowd. At some point you did not have all of your stuff together and Christ welcomed you into His body anyway. He does not require perfection to participate in His body, so who are we to require more? Romans 5:8 reminds us of this truth: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The fact that the church is not perfect is actually good news. It lets me know that there is room for me.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t let the failure of people rob you of the part you are to play in the body of Christ. The church needs you and deep down you know that you need the church. Choose today to forgive injuries that have caused you to distance yourself from the Bride of Christ and allow the Lord to bring healing and health.