Abraham Piper recently wrote over at 22 Words, “Why do some Christians bash Christianity like they are not a part of it?” I think that is a valid question. Why are we often hardest on the people and institutions that are most important to us? There is a tendency on Christian blogs to talk about the parts of our faith and heritage that we believe needs the most change. That is a natural thing to do. The internet has given people a voice where there used to not be one. I think things have gotten better but it is still an issue. If we all just had a policy to make sure that our criticisms were far outnumbered by our praise of God’s church we would find our own view of God’s people to be much healthier.
Let’s be reminded for the metaphors we find in scripture for God’s people:
- Bride of Christ
- Chicks under the wing of the mother hen.
- God’s vineyard
- God’s children
- Christ’s body
- Sheep in God’s sheep pen
- A coin in God’s change purse
- A son who has come home
- Holy priesthood
- Royal nation
- God’s own special possession
- Christ followers/disciples
- Those who are sent out (apostles)
- Those who are called out (church/ekklesia)
- Friends of God
- Family of God
- Saints/holy ones
Do we remember who we are talking about when we speak negatively of the church? Even the word church is pretty loaded. The Ekklesia is the assembly. Assembly of what? God’s own people. I am sure there are more metaphors but the point is when you think of Christians in these terms it is hard to point fingers. It is hard to have anything but love and adoration for those who share our faith. We might disagree about some aspects of church or worship but let’s get it straight – God wants his body not to tear itself apart. God wants us to have so much love for each other that we are willing to overlook some differences in order to maintain the unity He has called us to participate in.
How we talk about the church has a lot to say about what is on the inside of our hearts when it comes to how we view others…and not just anyone…God’s people. I don’t know about you but I am thankful to be among a people who are seeking God. What will the world learn about the church based upon the words and attitudes of God’s very own people as we blog about church issues and other Christians?