Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trashing the Bride

I randomly came across a blog, Trash the Dress. They trashed this dress but mostly it's pictures of brides in their dress in unorthodox places. Pretty cool and artistic...but a bit disturbing. Kinda like the trend that I'm seeing of trashing the bride of Christ, the Church. I keep seeing it; from my fellow writers on to rockers, even George Barna seems to be getting into it.

What are they saying? Stuff like:

  • The Church is out of touch and irrelevant
  • The Church is stupid and mean
  • The Church isn't what Jesus intended
  • The Church is the new Nazi regime (not kidding check out the documentary Rebellion of Thought)
Basically they are saying everyone should leave the church for this or that reason.

I'll be the first to admit there are issues. The first church I went to, the one that I got saved and married at, had an ugly split. Words cannot describe how horrendous a split is. It sent my wife and I into a spiritual tail spin.

I remember moving here and trying to find a church. My poor wife started looking through the yellow pages for a church and I just kept saying no. Anglican? No. Baptist? No. Calvary Chapel? No. Grace? No. Presbyterian? No. You get the picture.

God led us to CalvarySLO and I'm so glad he did. We reconnected with Jesus here and found so much healing. Beauty from ashes and that sort of thing. Is CalvarySLO perfect? No. But guess what Jesus reigns there. God is praised, Jesus is lifted up, and the Holy Spirit shows up often...Love rules the roost!

So what I learned is that some churches are messed up, some aren't. The CHURCH as a whole is not messed up. Why don't we treat church like we treat other things in our lives? If we visit a restaurant that gives us Montezuma's Revenge we don't stop going to all restaurants, we go to a different one that won't! If we go to a Doctor or Dentist that's a quack we don't lay off Doctors all together, especially if you have a broken arm or something, we find a different one.

So like me maybe you've had a horrific experience at a church...actually more than likely you have. But that's no reason to trash her. She's worth Jesus dying for her, she might be worth your effort to make her better. As the old saying goes, "Be part of the solution, not the problem."

The more I serve at CalvarySLO the more I realize it needs each and everyone that is there to love and serve it...sometimes die to ourselves. For example, I really wanted to see CalvarySLO doing a lot more in the community. First I started griping about it to everyone that would listen and every once in a while I'd send the pastors an e-mail about it. Nothing happened.

I had a choice. I could start trying to do more things in the community and see if others at CalvarySLO caught the same vision OR I could pout bitterly and leave the church. Guess which one I chose. Praise the Lord, he decided to make it stick and there seems to be quite a movement at CalvarySLO towards making God's name great in the community.

I love my church, but I also love the Church. Jesus died for her warts and all. The Rebellion of Thought folks said the Church is like a train on a collision course towards another oncoming train and we should all jump off. I kinda think a Christ like dude should tell everyone to go to the caboose while he disconnects the locomotive from the rest of the train.

Hope that makes sense...cause trashing the bride sure doesn't.