Allegiance.

10/24/2011

“I love Jesus, but not the church” has become the mantra for my generation. 

But I absolutely disagree.  I know of the injustices done in the name of the church: the abuse, the scandal, the picketing, the hate.   I know those stories, I’ve read those articles, I’ve met some of those kinds of pastors… yet I still have hope for the church.

I have hope for big churches, for house churches, for black churches, for white churches.  I have hope for the church, for one reason – Jesus said not even hell would overcome it.  We’ll never outgrow the need for the church.  Regardless of how independent you are, or I am, we were never designed to play the Lone Spiritual Ranger.  We need each other.

Often it feels like the church isn’t important. 

We might miss a Sunday or two, and not see any reason to go back.  But the church is much more important than we sometimes think it is.  Throughout Scripture God gives no promises about America, no promises to any race of person, no promises to any sports team.  Rather He gives his promise to the church.  But we regularly put our allegiance elsewhere.

Where have you mistakenly put your allegiance in the past?  Why do you love the church?

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net / dan

24 responses to Allegiance.

  1. Yes! Great message!

    How can you love Christ but hate his bride? If this was a relationship with me (where you loved me and hated my wife), we would have some serious problems.

    We are not meant to do faith alone, we are meant to pursue Christ as a family and one body.

  2. Was gone all last week to theSticks so missed out on commenting. (I did read when I got back but with 125+ posts it was impossible to comment). Anyway, love this message. I get tired of the church bashing so many do. The church on earth is not perfect. Never has been. Never will be. But i still think it is important to be involved in it. Evan says a lot of what I feel. Good thoughts my friend.

  3. There were tough times at my Church, but those made me love my Church even more – it’s like a family – when there are arguments in the family, you don’t simply leave and join some other family – you try to solve the issues (well, at least, that’s the preferred way of dealing with conflicts)… And it’s not that I am against other Churches – but for me, my Church is the one where I belong. Who knows, maybe one day, God will decide that I should move on, but for now, that’s where I grew up and I want to do everything I can to help my Church grow in Him.

    And I completely agree with Evan’s comment above: “How can you love Christ but hate His bride?”

    • I know that in my family growing up it was always the conflict that spurred growth. Going through tough times together draws us together. Great thoughts, and good to hear that you\’ve found a good fit 🙂

      • Going through tough times together draws us together. – odd from a logical standpoint, but true nonetheless 😀

  4. “we were never designed to play the Lone Spiritual Ranger.”

    Awesome line dude!

    Awesome.

    God Bless!

    I love the Church…despite all the bickering and fighting and disagreements…

    Jesus is till the Head and we are the body…

    sometimes my body aches….so the church aches…

    sometimes I get the flu…so the church gets the flu…

    sometimes i get tatoos (I DON”T) but you get the point!…

    we are all different…but we make up the body of christ…

    and sometimes…we have body image issues…(mostly women). lol…

    • I agree, when one of us hurts, the body hurts. When one of us refuses to serve, then we all suffer. It\’s a team, a family, a single entity.

  5. It’s a mark of spiritual immaturity when a believer can’t live in fellowship with a group of people despite their faults. It requires us to step up, bear with our brothers, and forgive. It’s a cop-out simply to say that we don’t like the church.

    • \”It’s a mark of spiritual immaturity when a believer can’t live in fellowship with a group of people despite their faults.\” Hard truth, but truth nonetheless. We need to get over thinking the church is lucky to have us. Humility is a big part of the problem.

  6. Allegiance? Yeah, I’ve pledged to many things.

    Fortunately when I think of church now, I think of global, timeless, above denominations. I think of that bride who gives demons nightmares. I think of Christ’s body at work in suffering-servant ways here on the earth.

    Yeah, I could work for a kingdom like that, even if it’s treasonous here on the earth.

    • It takes a lot to get there, where we view the church like a global, timeless entity. I know I struggled with a dislike for the church for a while. Thanks for sharing. Lance.

  7. I love the local church, I believe it’s the hope of the world. Even though some people are not representing God does not mean the church is a bad place, full of bad apples. Great thoughts today.

  8. i love the church for the positive… for the connection that i have with other believers and for how they help me grow in my relationship with Jesus. i think we have to always be careful to make sure our allegiance is first and foremost to Him! Thanks for a thought-provoking post Seth!!

    • Too true, it\’s way too easy to put our neglect our allegiance to God because we get caught up in our allegiance to our country, or our favorite team, or our company, or all kinds of other things. Thanks for commenting, Chris.

  9. I love the unity that comes from being part of a healthy church. When we stand united…one heart, one passion, one God…there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.

    • The best part is the unity. I totally agree there. Seeing the church do awesome things while working together is always an incredible sight. I know when the church showed up in Joplin after the tornado, that was a big thing I kept reading. People were amazed that denominations, creeds, and nothing else mattered besides being the hands and feet of Jesus.

  10. Wow, I feel as if you’ve seen inside my head. I’ve been thinking about church so much recently – trying to figure out why I think it’s so important, why it breaks my heart to see believers trying to live life on their own away from the church. Thank you for giving me the words I’ve been searching for.

    • I appreciate it, Christie. I just know that it\’s been a struggle in my life in the past regarding the church, and I figure we get enough bad PR someone should say something about the priority the church should have in our lives. Thanks for reading.

  11. I love the local church. I believe it’s the hope of the world. Even though some people are not representing God does not mean the church is a bad place. Great thoughts today.

    • Thanks, Dan. I\’m right there with you. Even though some Christians might not represent God well, I know there are times I\’m the one not representing Him well.

  12. I have some friends who have been very deeply hurt by people in my church. As a result, I’m very guarded and often find it hard to let some people in. Sunday morning is extremely difficult for me. Luckily, I take part in a Friday night recovery group at my church (Celebrate Recovery) that I believe is a much better model of what the church really should be. It is now my church. I can be open, honest, and raw, and I feel totally safe. I’m very thankful for the program, because without it, I’d be a very bitter Christian (sometimes I still am, but I continue to work through it).

    • CR is an incredible group. We\’ve got one that meets at our church each week, and I know it\’s the church for many of those who attend. Jamie, I think if you\’re in a place where you can be open and honest, and encourage one another to keep chasing after Jesus, then you\’re where you need to be. Thanks for sharing.