Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Leaving Church / Leaving Jesus

Much has been made of the fulfilment of prophecy that bears witness to the massive exodus from that Church that is taking place before our very eyes. I'm not going to go into the reasons for why people leave, nor the fact (as atheists so desperately wish was true) that these people are not necessarily also leaving Jesus.

My point is that those who think they'll grow closer to Jesus by leaving a hypocritical, dysfunctional congregation are profoundly naive and spiritually blind.

G.K. Chesterton responded, “I am,” to the question, “What's wrong with the world?” Each of us (including those who are leaving the Church) should give the same answer to, “What's wrong with the Christian Church?”

The heart is desperately wicked. Who can understand it?”

To think that verse applies to everyone else but me is tragic nonsense. To believe that any effort to grow closer to Jesus, including leaving the Church, without that attempt being corrupted and saprogenic is, as I said, profoundly naive.

Paul tells us to “Don't quit meeting together as some have begun to do.”

He says this because learning to love others, our enemies no less, is critical to our spiritual growth. The main thing that we have in common with those sitting in the Church Pews with us is that we've been called to salvation by Jesus. The differences in our personalities and interests, and loving those who possess those differences is a refining process. This process can't be ignored if we are serious about being transformed into character of Jesus.

Loving those who are different than us gives us a glimpse into God's love for us; fallen creatures as dissimilar to God in holiness as any difference can be.

Leaving a difficult environment to seek out those like us, those with similar interests, those who will not irritate and annoy us, and then believing that we are somehow made new because we no longer display anger is simply lying to ourselves. 

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