Sunday, November 2, 2008
Love God But Not The Church?
Today's sermon was "Can I Like God and Not the Church?" It was a great sermon...very timely and right on target. He shared some of Dan Kimball's findings on people's positive views of Jesus, yet very negative views of "church". It brought to mind something I read Friday night.
The local church is where God is seeking to go public-not just a place where the gospel's truth is talked about, but where the gospel's attractiveness is visible. The local church, as Francis Schaeffer said, "should be right, but is should also be beautiful." It's through the community of Spirit-inhabited saints, more than any other way, that God intended to show the darkened world the kind of God He is.
Therefore two chief callings rest upon us. The first is to live in such a way that our lives boldly proclaim, "There is only one God worthy of undivided trust and unrestrained adoration." The Bible calls this faith.
The second calling is to care for one another in such a way that unbelievers are amazed. The Scriptures call this love.
...When we let other gods (money, career, approval, achievement, possessions, pornography, or whatever) meet our needs, we proclaim to all those around, "God is not enough." And when we treat one another with indifference or disdain, when legalistic standards matter more than fellow saints, when church is more like a corporation than a family, we communicate to the world that people don't matter all that much."
...The great tragedy and heinousness of our sin is not primarily the destruction it brings to our lives but he crippling it brings to God's name...the worst result is that the glory of God is for that moment obscured....We profane God's name.
May we love one another enough to make unbelievers see the very real difference in us...the very real, positive difference Jesus Christ makes. I don't want my behavior to obscure God's glory even for a moment. Prayers that God's love flows out of us daily.