We are living through a time of great shame and challenge for the church. Pride and presumption are like termites in the temple, eating away at the pillars and posts of institutional Christianity.
Pride has created sensationalism where self-declared “superstars” erect buildings and ministries that look more like them than like Jesus. Presumption has resulted in scandal as the ministerial office is cheapened by abuse and duplicity.
It is because of the church’s failure to really be the church that we hear phrases like “spiritual but not religious” and “churchless Christianity.” Suspicion casts a dark shadow over the church today.
It is no wonder that many Christians are discouraged and multitudes of non-Christians view the church as charlatan and even dangerous.
For both Christians and non-Christians, the way through this is found in the exhortation of the writer of Hebrews, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in” (Hebrews 12:2, The Message).
The words “and finished” are our hope. Many begin the race, but do not finish well–thus bringing disgrace on the race itself. But Jesus both began and finished the race. If we run with him, he will take us to the finish line.
The church of man (as in ‘good old boys’ club’) is in trouble due to multiple self-inflicted wounds. But the Body of Christ is as strong as ever. And as has happened before in times past, the Risen Christ will cleanse the temple, rebuild the ruins, and restore the church on earth to health.
Ride out the storm. But just make sure you are in the boat where Jesus is. Give him your heart. Do not sell your soul to any other company store.