Saturday, September 17, 2011

Church as the Bride of Christ

There are many caricatures of Church in the world today.  I live in Europe where one might call it, Church as Museum, or Church as Tourist Attraction.  Others might call it Church as Old Folks Home.  Many in the States see it as Church as Political Party or church as Special Interest Group.  I recently visited a church in the States that upon leaving I thought of it as Church as Variety Show.  I seen many where I can only call it, Church as Rock Concert.  Sadly where it has lost the life it was meant to have, it is called Church as Institution.  Church as Building is perhaps the commonest and most empty notion, that it can have. 

Perhaps more positive names are Church as Family, or Church as Support Group.  In ages, past it was seen as Church as a Place of Higher Learning.  But now sadly it is seen as Church as the Temple of the Simplistic. 

I think the church gets such names when it stops being all that it should be and all that it was meant to be, namely, Church as the Bride of Christ.  When we forget that we are not our own and make church into something of our own making, then it can become, Church as Country Club, or Church as Comedy Show, or Church  as Haven for Saints. 

But it is  more than a haven for saints, it is a hospital for sinners.  But even that is short of what Jesus builds his church to be.

But, church as the Bride of Christ, yes, that’s a title to be strived for.