|Image from Mulpix.|
Jesus wants a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. He won't settle for less. I can't imagine Christ settling for a semi-glorious church with stains and folds and creases. They always say church is a collection of imperfect, flawed people God has accepted by grace and mercy. And that's what church has been---flawed and imperfect and getting worse as time goes by because some preachers pointed church to that direction.
They even insist we are "saved sinners."
No we're not. We're saved saints. Yeah, we were flawed and imperfect and dirty and hopeless when God took us in. And his grace and mercy enabled us to change from glory to glory. That's how the bible tells it. We may fall a bit now and then but his grace enables instant recovery---if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us so we can continue with a holy life. Why this? Because God wants a glorious, radiant church, without spot or wrinkle that goes from ever-increasing glory.
The way things are, church buildings, church income, church properties and church memberships are the only things that increase, not the glory. This is because people are being pampered to attend church and given everything they want to make them stay. I've seen it several times. Immature people, sometimes even the unspiritual or carnal, given leeway to have their own way in church and given positions and important roles so they'd stay and feel important.
There was this church that allowed drug addicts who were under the influence to join the choir so they wouldn't get discouraged and stop attending church. And there's this popular strategy among pastors of often visiting people and trying to get them to join the church, luring them with church attractions and sometimes offering leadership positions.
Yup, they'd join you sooner or later but you'd owe them that. You're going to be indebted to them and be at their mercy. If you don't do as they please, they'd stop going to church (and influence others in a campaign) and you lose people. And that's not a good report during your annual church denomination meetings. So, at the very start, the church is compromised. The pastor is held hostage and at the mercy of his members, especially influential members. At the outset, Jesus is not Lord of that church. People are.
Jesus never did it that way. People desperately joined him. There were instances when he even turned some of them down. Would pastors today do that? Jesus pleased no one but the Father. Most pastors, especially in church denominations, can never do that. They have to please people because that's the way they started out. The pastor went around the community knocking on doors, inviting people and trying their best to get them into their churches by hook or by crook. They call that evangelism. Jesus never did that. He went around and preached and then left. People pursued him. This should be our church strategy model.
We should let the Holy Spirit convict and convince people. If people turn to Jesus this way, the glorious church is built and Jesus is Lord. If we do it our way and with our own efforts, we build a worldly church where the people act like gods and lords.
We should let Jesus build his church. There's going to be a lot of "temple destroying" (persecution and sacrifices and ego demolition) in the process, but it's all worth it because it will result to a glorious church. It's easier to beg people to come to church and become members than let God work in people which often seems ineffective because we see nothing happening fast. Gold will come out shinning only through fire.
We easily get impressed by fast increase and big sizes. I see very few pastors concerned about a glorious church. To them, glorious is big, peopled, moneyed and propertied. And it changes the value system in church, so that you see leadership often being manned by loud, intrusive, arrogant and vain people.
For more radically life-changing insights, get my e-books!
GOD's Flesh: "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" [Job 19.26-17]. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!