Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. - Ephesians 5: 25-27 (ESV)
Those who follow my ministry know that I am not shy about chronicling the abuses in the church system today. I believe and demonstrate nearly every day that the majority of the church today is heading down the broad path that leads to destruction. Purpose driven church models, seeker friendly gospels, prosperity heresies, greasy grace antinomianism, CEO pastor models, false authority and tithing systems, and false prophetic models all combine to mislead so many people. Fake sinners prayers, fake altar calls, and fake purposes all lead goats to believe they are sheep. Going to church every week but never in relationship with God. This is why so many will say "Lord Lord" on the last day. I think sometimes we gloss past crucial Scriptures too easily:
"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. - Matthew 7: 13-14 (ESV)
I know we all know the part that says "narrow is the way" but we tend to stop reading before we get to the part that says "those who find it are few." Do we get that? Few. Not mega church numbers of people beloved. Few.
That said, I need to be clearer about something that has been weighing on my Spirit. I do not hate the church. I love the church. The church is the Bride of Christ. He gave His life for His church. We need to be very careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Of being so righteously angry at false teachers that we start to think the entire institution is somehow evil. It is not. There are real sheep of God sitting in every church across this country. There are real shepherds of God leading churches across this country. I point out what is false so they can come out from among them. Not to tell them church as a whole is beyond redemption. I couldn't say that because it is biblically untrue. Just look at the key verses. Christ loved the church. He gave Himself up for her. He wants to sanctify her by the washing of His Word. He wants to present the church to Himself in splendor! And He will beloved. Make no mistake about it. We need to be very careful about what we say about the bride of our Lord and Savior. Our place is never to tear down what God has raised up. The Bible speaks to exposing false teaching, not being rebellious against the church as a whole. I would tread very carefully.
That leads us to the next logical question. Well what was the church supposed to be? I have watched recently a lot of people who appear to be wounded from their church experiences and more sympathetic I could not be. Yet their defensiveness now seems targeted against anything in the church. It is a very dangerous spirit to be around because it is not the Spirit of the Lord. They point to Acts 2, where the church was established and claim it was met in homes. Let's see what the verses actually say:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. - Acts 2: 42-47 (ESV)