Friday, January 14, 2011
Love The Church...
From the end of Richard Sibbes' sixth sermon in Bowels Opened. The argument is simple - Jesus loves the church, so if we love him can we really claim to not love that which he loves?Can I be honest? I hate the "commandment approach" to telling me why I have to deal with the church. It just sounds like someone is trying to order me to deal with the bull*&^%. I'm not interested in dealing with it - I am interested in fixing it.
In this approach we have the beginnings of the argument that does keep me involved. This is still pretty commandment based, but at least it is a commandment that is not rooted in not wanting to deal with the ugliness.
By the way, the old "I love the church, just not the institution" argument is somewhat specious, though I use it many times myself - they cannot be effectively separated and be true to this idea.
The key to all this is to remember that Christ loved us in spite of our sin - just as He loves the church in spite of its sin. Consequently we are called to love the church enough to try and help it overcome its sin, just as we do with others we love.
There are times when the church acts like it has a personality disorder, refusing to see its sin and that's when it gets hard. But out of love we keep trying.