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Tweet Ecclesiology

26 Feb

A friend tweeted this morning:

GODSCOWARD: “can we unconditionally love the church as she is while we work towards what she can be?”

My quick response (remember, I am on Day #5 of being sick and not in the best mood) was:

BENDUBOW: “@GODSCOWARD – only if she does the same for me!”

Of course, as soon as you say “only if” unconditional is out. The truth is, as followers of Jesus, we should indeed “love the church unconditionally as she is while we work towards what she can be.”

And, it also true, that “the church should love its members unconditionally as they are while she works to help them be what they can be.”

Sadly, this quickly becomes an infinite regression. The church’s inability (or, more precisely, choice) to not love its members unconditionally as they are is part of the failure of the church that I think we must love through. And vice versa.

So I realize my answer is not sufficient… for it gets us no where.

But the church doesn’t get a free ride either. Because the church isn’t actually something other than us. It is us. Simply a corporate representation of us. And as such, I think it is held to a higher standard — one presumes that the corporate and collective wisdom of the whole will be stronger than that of the individual. It is amazing how often I have heard “The church decided that… that was the churches call…” etc etc — as if the church is some separate entity.

We are church. Church, outside of we, is nothing.

The failure of the church is your failure and mine.

So yes, we should love the church unconditionally… while working for it to become all it can be. But when it fails to be that, make sure we start with the mirror and not finger pointing.

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1 Comment

Posted by on February 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “Tweet Ecclesiology

  1. Ben D.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:01 am

    <p>Bruce, I think a lot of it depends on whether you see God as being in the EXCHANGE BUSINESS or the TRANSFORMATION BUSINESS.</p><p>EXCHANGE – "this one doesn’t make the cut — let me trade it for another one. Get this one out of here…"</p><p>TRANSFORM – "by the ongoing and indwelling work of my Holy Spirit… none cannot be transformed into the likeness of my Son…"</p><p>The modern church generally embraces an exchange theology; lucklily, our Heavenly Father is serious about transformation — and has no buyer’s remorse.</p>

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