The Bride of Christ and Her Competitors
by Jordan Jachim
Loving your local church is critical for you. The Church is the most important of the three jurisdictions (family, church, state) because only the Church universal (that is, all believers) will remain throughout eternity. The Family structure is gone when one reaches heaven, and the State is burned when the earth is destroyed, but the Church is in Heaven for ever and ever. However, the Church universal and local today is downplayed, downgraded and forgotten. Often, it seems now to be nothing more than a club. How different this is to Christ’s view of the Church as His Bride. Think of that! The Bride of Christ!
There is a challenger to gain and keep the loyalties and affections of her members. Enter the bad guy: man. Man’s selfish sinful nature wants nothing to do with the Bride of Christ. Even once a person is saved by Christ, his old nature is still present, not being completely overcome here, but in heaven. I wish to touch on just a few ways than man endeavors to steal the time, dollars, energy, prayer, tears, sweat, and blood from Christ’s Church.
Some of the Church’s rivals are found in the other two jurisdictions (see above). Many see their family, sleep, or work, as more important than their local church. When properly working, no jurisdiction should steal from another. But in so many cases, the jurisdictions are not properly working. Many in the church are looking, not to the Lord of Heaven, their Bridegroom, but to a rival sovereign, the State, to solve their problems. They believe that if only we can just pack enough seats in the Congress with “good guys” or elect a particular face to sit in the White House, all problems will be solved, or most of them, anyway.
What is the problem here? Has the author inferred that politics is worthless or dirty? Far be it from me. I believe Christians working in politics (whether voting or holding an office) is vital. And I firmly believe that if Christians don’t work in politics, others will fill the slack. For too many Christians, though, working for a political party or candidate has all but eclipsed working for one’s local church. Rather than working for “Our Father” that “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven” many Christians appear to be working for “Our favorite candidate” that “Thy election to the White House come, thy will be done in Congress”.
So, on which side of the fence are you? Analyze the questions. These questions are not good vs. bad, but good vs. best.
Do you know more about a particular candidate than about your pastor?
Do you know a particular party’s platform better than your church’s creed?
Are American laws more important to you than Biblical laws (from which English laws are derived, and after them, American laws)?
Is a speech by your favorite politician during election time worth more to you than a sermon?
Trying to fix the State exclusive of the Church or Family is like putting the cart before the horse: it won’t go anywhere permanently. If the Church is reformed, her members can influence the State, and reforming the family makes reforming the church a whole lot easier. But none of these can be reformed unless every family member, church member, and citizen reads and applies the Bible. And reading and applying the Bible is the best way to show your love for both the Church and Her Lord.
“May Christ be praised, pre-eminent, adored;
I love the Church because I love Her Lord.”
(I Love the Church by Chris Anderson)