Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Loving the Real Church

Scot McKnight writes a wonderful, brief post dealing with our often misguided attempts to "defend" the church by attacking other parts of it. He writes, "We must learn not to love the ‘idea’ of the church, but the ‘real’ church."

None of us will ever create the ideal church that exists only in our minds by hacking off other parts that we consider unseemly. Much less will we ever create God's ideal of the church. In fact, I'm not sure God has an "ideal" of the church. I think when God entrusted the work of the church to us human beings, he knew exactly what would happen. It doesn't come as a surprise to him. And yet our job is still to love one another, as Christ has loved us.


  1. This is a such a challenging issue and a constant battle for human beings, especially Christians: How do we disagree without being divisive? Where is that line drawn? Obviously, you'll be dealing with this very directly with your involvement in the SEA. The Web makes it even more challenging, since it's much easier to be snarky with someone you don't actually see. I expect (or at least hope) the folks over at Slice of Laodicea would adopt a different tone if they were sitting at a coffee table with one of their favorite targets.

  2. I agree that there is a fine line between loving the Church and just sounding critical and mad. Sometimes, however, I wish we still had synods, diets, conferences, councils, etc. to decide theological matters. While the outcomes are not always right on (Synod of Dort for example), I think there is good in debating what is and is not orthodox theology.

    I do think there is a fine line between genuine, godly concern for sound doctrine and yet becoming what I call a "Christian gnostic" or someone who loves knowledge, basis their own and others salvation on how much theology you know, and despises those who are new to the faith and not as educated.

    Thanks for this post.