Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Church: Bride of Christ or Weekend Hobby

The Church: Bride of Christ or Weekend Hobby

I am not writing this because of one person who is annoying me, I am writing this because I have become very un happy with people's veiws of the church. Growing up I viewed the church as a social outlet like many youth of our country do today. For me it was a place to go and hang out with friends, play music, ride my skateboard, and get a little Jesus on the side. This was the wrong attitude, and I am afraid of people using the church like this. We all know that there will always be those teenagers who come to church just to find some "hot chicks" to annoy on facebook. But if our atitude is what can The Church do for me, we are no different from those boys who are looking for "hot chicks." I never understood what it meant for the church to be the bride of christ until I got married, and now that I have a wife and think about how I love her and what I would be willing to do for her, It frightens me to think about how people treat the Bride of Christ!
Jesus came to the earth to become what we are so that we might become what He is. Then upon leaving he left the apostles and believers in charge of his bride The Church. He wanted The Church to grow, wanted her to become more and more holy, for her to strive for righteousness and it has been the Christ followers job to expand, protect, and love the church, and to do all this through disciple making. My fear is that we have slowly driven a wedge between what the church was meant to do and what the church is doing now. I am afraid of the consequences of treating The Church like a social network, or a daycare, or a parent for the children who are too lazy to parent. Just imagine that I am a soldier going off to war and I leave my wife in your care while I am away. I have left the responsability of my wife, the love of my life, the only woman I have eyes for, the woman who is going to bear my children. While I am away to war, you leave my wife alone and never talk to her and she gets mugged, or you use her for your own gain. Imagine my furry for everyone who treats my wife this way while I am gone. Who used her as a daycare, or stole from her, or did not serve her the way she needed to be served! We see in revelation 19 Jesus return to the earth and His return is not a pretty one for those who do not treat The Church the way she deserves to be treated.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
(Revelation 19:11-13 ESV)

Jesus will not return as the lamb that was slain, He will return as the loving husband He is, ready to make war against everyone who did not love His bride! Jesus is a loving husband to His bride the Church! He will not be sweet and gentle to all who did not see His bride for who she is, HE WILL BE RUTHLESS! I write this pleading with you to love the church, love the bride of Christ! See her for who she is and act accordingly. The Bride of Christ is not programming for our children, the Bride of Christ is not a suplament for the welfare system of our country, the Bride of Christ is not to carry the financial burnden for every ministry that cannot sustain itself. The Bride of Christ is just that, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!
When you have a friend who is as close as a sibling, someone you love and you would give your life for, when they get married. The spouse of the person you love has now become apart of that love or the relationship fails. So as you proclaim your love for our risen savior DO NOT FORGET HIS WIFE! She is a package deal, when you say you love Jesus, that statement is hard to believe when you do not care for His bride!
Please do not read this as an accusation read it was fact, read it as a plea to fall back in love with the church, to fall in love with the Bride of Christ!!! Brothers and Sisters, the Bride of Christ is our Job! Obviously our own wives and families are our first responsability, but do not forget the Bride of Christ!

As you ponder these things, listen to this song by Derek Webb

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New House, New Study, New Bride, New Missions.

New House -
Recently Catrina and I are attempting to move to a house in Kansas City. We have been tired of living in an apartment for a while but it is looking like we will actually be moving. Either the first to the middle of April. This excites me because my home will be more suitable for ministry. More space for having people over and our ability to be better located for ministry is awesome! Also, it will be nice to not have maintenance walking in the door whenever they want to. Its a nice house a little more than we have been paying for our current home, but i believe we can budget ourselves so that we can afford it as well as do missions.

New Study -
I am currently teaching myself to read. I have grown my library considerably recently, which is a daunting task given I have to read all these books. I have collected commentaries, study books, religious books, and books by atheists. I have so much to learn and it excites me that i am beginning to learn. Not that I have not been learning, i have. Keeping in mind that I need to be always remaining vigilant in the scripture for God's revelation! Meaning, I am reading the Bible as much as always.

New Bride -
New Bride referring to the church. God has been expanding his church at my place of community, Missouri Valley Baptist Church. There has been some growth in members, which is awesome. But, the real growth is that Christ's bride has been learning about him and been getting focused on his gospel! There people have been showing real strides in becoming a Biblical church, with Biblical leadership!

New Missions -
I recently was able to go to South Asia to work with a church planter. It was an impacting experience for living missionally no matter the place i am. As far as the cultural difference it was exciting. I am really starting to find myself finding more interest in other cultures than my own. Which is a gift from God!!!! Having an understand of other cultures is so beneficial in missions, so this desire is 100% a gift from above! I have the opportunity in June to go to Guatemala and in august going to South Sudan. God is giving me more chances to go into all nations then ever before, praise him for it!!!!