The words we use send messages which are both intended and unintended. Two words which are certain to move people towards conclusions which may not match our intentions are “church” and “Christian.”
“Church” has not only become something it isn’t intended to be from the perspective of the world, but it also is a term mis-applied by those that practice their faith there. The buildings we meet in are not the “house of God” any more than they are the church. The house of God is contained in the people who have come to that building and the church woke up that morning and drove collectively to that place to meet.
In a building based definition of church it would mean that God is not engaged in the lives of the people when they leave that location. The result is a need to be entertained with a show that impacts me in such a way that it will carry me until the next time. If not, I’ll go down the road and find a better show.
- The church is a body of people intended to be carriers of the Kingdom
- The church is a mechanism for Heaven on earth in our day-to-day business
- The church is the Kingdom delivery system of salt and light where there is brokenness and despair
- The church is made up of ambassadors to represent Hope for those in need
That purpose requires relationship and compassion and is legitimate only to the extent that it reflects the nature of the King Himself (see related post, https://scottprickett.com/2013/12/18/the-first-word/). As the walking and talking church, how we walk and what we say represents all that some people will know of Jesus. If all they can see from us is our “stand” against one behavior or another, are we inviting them to church at all?
I came to know Jesus in my living room and I’m kind of glad that nobody from the church got in the way with all of their rules vs. my behaviors. It was just me and Him and my dog, Tank. I still had lots of messed up things in my life when I met Jesus and He didn’t abominate me for any of them. He loved me and I became the church, flaws and all, working them out one by one.