This week yet again I have been reading with despair about more potential splits in the Church of England, more comments by Rowan Williams which are dividing the church.
But its worse than that.
Its worse because it damages the what the general public outside the church perceive as church, so detracting and damaging for what real church actually is.
You see we don't just need to get back to what 'real church' actually is, but we need to show the world and tell the world what real church is. That its not the 'established church' as perceived by so many.
Church at its best is a community of people living out their faith individually and together. When everyone in the body is truly following the way of Jesus, then the body of Christ becomes more powerful
While there are Christians, or people who claim to be Christians, who don't love, forgive, serve sacrificially, give, and orientate their entire lives around God's values, while there are people who are religious but not radical, legalistic rather than full of grace, prefer the establishment to the revolutionary life Jesus calls us to, who would rather appease people than stand up for truth, then the church will always be a poor reflection of Christ.
Christ's body will always be crippled as long as this goes on.
Jesus challenged the establishment.
Jesus was radical.
Jesus was revolutionary.
Jesus stood against the authorities of His day and proclaimed a different kingdom.
Jesus stood up for the values of God, but showed grace and mercy instead of judgement.
Jesus was controversial and stood against the 'established religious authorities'.
Jesus was not legalistic, but proclaimed a living faith.
Jesus was not religious.
Jesus was willing to be treated as a criminal for His faith.
Jesus said it wasn't about what we said, but how we lived and the posture of our hearts, which showed how much we loved God.
This is the life Jesus calls us to today.
Who are the 'established religious authorities' today?
Who is legalistic today?
Who is religious today?
Who judges people today?
I think you could answer 'Christians' or 'the church' to all of those questions couldn't you?
I'm certain I could.
We need to change how we think, and what our definition of what a 'Christian' and 'church' is.
The real meaning has been lost for a long time now, its time we reclaimed it. The way of Jesus is the heart of our faith, its the heart of Christianity and the heart of church. Living like Him, with His values, attitudes, lifestyle and treatment of people.
We do it individually and we start to become real Christians, real followers of Jesus.
We do it corporately, we might just have the church Jesus talked about, for all the world to see.
And it might just appeal more to people than the perception of the church as it is now. But it only works if we all do it. If we heal this broken body.
It can be done. If we work together and we truly put Jesus at the core of our beings and our lifestyle.
Its not easy. I find it very hard. But all of us trying will make a difference.
We first need to change the posture of our hearts, then the change will start to come.Once your heart is turned, then the change becomes easier and easier. It is still a challenge, but one we will meet with more and more joy.
So lets change the posture of our hearts, and work towards healing a broken body.