Why belong to a church when I have Jesus? Well, no doubt this is a question that many people are asking, because the Church has been guilty of many bad things.
Yes, the Church is Guilty
For instance, the Church has misapplied biblical rules and has emotionally abused people. The Church has defended its own, over victims, in cases of sexual abuse. The Church many times is anti-intellectual in a way that doesn’t fit with the deep questions that people have. And the church many times also seems to be obsessed with money in a way that the Bible doesn’t teach.
Why Not Abandon Church?
So someone is asking, “why shouldn’t I just abandon Church and stick with Jesus?” Well, there are a number of reasons. An explicit one is found in Hebrews 10:25, which tells us that if you are not in the Church, not that you cannot grow, but you cannot grow in the way God wants you to grow. You need community.
if you are not in the Church you cannot grow in the way God wants you to grow.
Community is Critical
Communities are structured in the Bible. Throughout the Bible – from the garden of Eden, the people in the garden of Eden, to Israel and to Church finally – the Bible teaches us that human beings are created for community. But the redemptive community at this current time is the Church.
It is the Church, not an individual Christian, that is the pillar and the ground of truth: 1 Timothy 3:15. It is the Church, not an individual, that is the temple that God is forming – according to Ephesians 2:19-22. And it is the Church that is God’s mission engine according to John 20:21-22.
No Church is perfect – but not all Churches are unhealthy.
Belong to a Healthy Church
Listen, the Church is not perfect. The bride of Christ is not perfect. He has promised that he will perfect his Church but that we grow together as we stick together.
Now, not all – no Church is perfect – but not all Churches are unhealthy. What we shouldn’t do is paint with a broad brush and reject the Church totally. If you find yourself in an unhealthy Church, leave. But locate a healthy Church where the gospel is at the centre of all they do.