Blushing Bride

Today I would like to discuss a topic which there seem to be two separate camps which both have very different views, so I thought I’d address it. I would like to make it clear that I am not taking sides, nor am I putting anyone down, I just want to try and look at this from both sides.

You’ve probably heard the following phrase, “The church is Jesus’ bride, so how can you love Jesus and not His bride?” Unfortunately, this is often quoted when someone has an issue with a church organisation, but what we have to remember is that the building is not the church, we are. This means that the phrase can be read as, “Christians are Jesus’ bride, so how can you love Jesus and not His bride?” This makes more sense.

I bet we all know someone that has married someone that we don’t like. It is a problem. It doesn’t even have to be someone that we don’t like, even if they marry someone that we don’t like as much as we like our friend, we still may not see them as much as we would have if they were single. Now I know that this is not the same as Jesus’ bride, but we as Christians do have a responsibility not to put people off of God because of our actions. So many people have used this phrase to me whenever I say anything remotely against a church body, and it may be right. It is also right to bear in mind that we are Jesus’ bride, so we need to encourage people to meet with Him, and not put people off by what we do. We have a responsibility. We are in a relationship. People don’t always hear what Jesus says, but they do see what we do. Jesus is judged by what we do.

So what am I saying here? Am I supporting those hurt by churches, or the churches that hurt them? Which group am I in? As I said before I am not here to take sides, besides, I have been in both groups, and I agree with both groups, and I disagree with both groups. Let me explain. If you have been hurt by a church, join the club. Most of us have been. I know this is easier said than done, and it took me a while to get, but I’m going to tell you what to do. Ready? Get over it. You have been hurt, you are upset, your feelings have not been taken into consideration. I know. But how is sitting around feeling sorry for yourself going to help? It isn’t. Find another church, get involved and move on. “But I may get hurt again.” Yes you may, but if you don’t open up to people, you will lose out on more than you do by getting hurt. Trust me. Now, when you are in a church, settled and ‘part of the furniture’, you now have the same responsibility as those who previously hurt you. Make sure you get it right. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You didn’t like being in that situation, so don’t put others through it. If you have an issue with the church (like I did), be the church (as you are) and make sure that others don’t get hurt.

Let’s all just remember that the church is made up of humans, and we all make mistakes. This is not an excuse to get it wrong, but it does mean that from time to time we may well get it wrong. If God can forgive us, surely we can forgive each other.

So I would like to encourage all Christians who have been hurt by a church, to find another one (if you can’t reconcile with the old church) and get involved. Be the Christian who you accused the others of not being. Be what God called us to be. And those of us that have not been hurt, remember that we are Christ’s bride, lets bring people towards Him, and not scare them off.

To God be the glory!

Richard

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3 thoughts on “Blushing Bride

  1. This link was posted on Google+ in response to this post.. http://intersectionfaithandlife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/taking-exit-why-i-left-institutional.html?m=1.. This was my reply:

    Thanks for that post. After I have just written almost the exact opposite article, you would think that I disagree with you, but I can’t. I have been through the same things. I would also like to add something, I have been asked to leave churches because my views were ‘biblically incorrect’, even though I had more biblical backing to my belief. Believing that having an alcoholic drink was not a sin got me thrown out of the first, and believing that God didn’t send us illness got me removed from the second. I have also seen them split, and I have seen more than my fair share of power struggles. The church motto is usually ‘come as you are’ but if you don’t turn into what the leaders want pretty quickly, then you’re out. It is sad, and mostly about power. I have also seen the other side of the coin, people who leave the church because they have been hurt, and slip quietly into a place where they wouldn’t recognise God if He slapped them. This is my major concern. You seemed to have taken a more mature approach about taking the responsibility onto yourself to grow spiritually (which we should all do anyway and not rely on our church) however some people don’t. They want nothing to do with the church and they start throwing Jesus out with the church. That is my main concern. I have however got to the point where I separate my ministry from my church. I go to church to make friends, get some teaching, be accountable, but then I do ministry outside of the church. Unfortunately, when your gifts and passions are prophesy, discernment and deliverance and not Sunday School, worship team, and pouring coffee, you are often seen as not pulling your weight. You get asked how you would like to serve. Churches mix up spiritual gifts and social obligations. This means that my gifts scare most churches (especially here in the UK), so I use them outside of the church (non-Christians are always keen for a word from God, when Christians are not), and use the church for the reasons that I mentioned above. I would love to use them in the church but the leaders often find this intimidating so I don’t get the chance to. What you mention are valid points, but even in spite of them, I would encourage people to find a church, even if they use it for friendships, accountability and learning, and practice their gifts elsewhere. As for you, I do hope that you surround yourself with Christians so that you get those 3 things without going to church, as if you don’t, it will be a more difficult path to follow.
    Bless you.
    Richard

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  2. First… church was not a building. In the bible clearly stated that the first disciples was praying and gather together from house to house.

    Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    So i believe the church is unity between I and You and Jesus. This is why Jesus has said

    Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

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    1. Thanks for the post, I’m not sure whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with me, but we are saying the same thing. I don’t mind whether you go to a certain denomination, an independent church or meet with like minded Christians in someone’s home, the point is that you have that fellowship. Some people are hurt by a ‘group of Christians’ (in whatever form that may be) and turn their back on God because of it. All I am saying is that if a ‘group of Christians’ hurt you, find another ‘group of Christians’ and be the kind of Christian that you expect from others. That is all.

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