the church

I’m sitting here, channeling the thoughts of a girl whom I have never met. Her words inspired me today. They brought me to tears. They made me hurt deep in my soul. What kind of a church are we if our believers cannot stand the idea of participating in such a community? What kind of a church are we if I cannot stand the idea of participating in such a community? This is my livelihood. My entire youth has been propelled by such an idea of being forever linked to a church.

My dreams were rosy and pink hued, filled with warm fuzzies and the feeling to being integrally connected with something greater than I. I thought that the church was a place of people filled with integrity, people with the overwhelming calling to serve. People who took the words of Jesus seriously.

Then I realized the church is filled with people just like me. People who screw up. People who open their mouths and shit just seems to flow out. People with selfish agendas, and convention alignments, and ulterior motives. People who believe image is everything.

How about focusing on the image of Jesus instead of the Christian subculture image of suburbia?

I agree with you. I’m also “bent on insisting that Love is the only defining principle Christianity needs – beyond what the churches are comfortable with now.” I would say that Dr. Fowlkes is right– the only way to break out of the mold is to start your own church, but that only starts another broken church. Your dream, that love-filled, Jesus centered vision of a church, starts to morph into that very same broken place. Suddenly, your place is growing like crazy, and although you’re stating that you don’t want to be like any other church, things start to look a little too familiar. People walk in with their own agendas. That little community you have come to love so much starts to look a little too “Purpose Driven.”

So you start another church.

My voice resonates with a heady blend of cynicism, rebellion, and defeat. I know. I’m in a place where I have to accept my limitations where I am. I know that my personal views of how the church should be are forced into submission, waiting for the day when I can break out of my chains and help heal The Church. It comes eventually. I have to hope for that. The world’s not as simple as I thought it would be, and the church is not the place of growth and healing I dreamed of. The only thing that hasn’t changed is Jesus. If I can’t be radical, then I’m going to die trying to show the world that Jesus is radical. He’s the life changer. I’ll die for that.

I’ll live to die. Not for the church as she is, but for the church she was designed to be.

I’m sorry, my friend that I’ve never met. If you’re here to change the world, then you’re in for a long, hard road. You’re in for days where you just want to give up. You’re in for weeks that you WILL give up. You’ll say “to Hell with it” and you’ll turn your back, but if you’re called– you’ll always come back. The church– She needs our help.

The Church

i have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she’s justified

i have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone

(chorus)
‘cause i haven’t come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard for her
if you love me you will love the church

 

i have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon me
she will drink and thirst no more

so when you taste my flesh and my blood
you will know you’re not alone

(chorus)
there is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be my bride

-Derek Webb

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