I have to preface this post by saying I love the Church.
However, I am disturbed by an upward trend in even the most conservative churches of idolizing the Church, and by this I mean that trend where people place the body above everything else, giving the body the best of what we have, advancing the body. The Church seems to have gotten the idea that she is the big deal, and has forgotten Who she is supposed to point to.
I love the Church. I am a part of her. She is a part of me. The day has long since gone where anything could be done about that.
BUT my allegiance is not to the Church generally, or a local body in particular. The Church is not my first priority, it does not get to consume the entirety of my best efforts (although I give my best in the ministries I take on), nor do I go around pointing people to the Church as the answer for their problems.
My allegiance is to Christ. Spending time in His presence, knowing Him, seeking Him is my first priority. He gets my very best, whether anyone else sees that or not. And I am about advancing HIM, not anyone or anything else.
I have a wide variety of gifts and talents that God has graciously lent the Church through me over the past few years. I am grateful for these gifts and talents, and the bodies I have exercised them in have been grateful as well.
But Dear Church, God has not given these gifts exclusively for you, or to draw attention to your body and its manifold programs. Primarily, God has given me certain things to better enjoy, delight in, and glorify HIM! Secondarily, He gave them to encourage the Church. Thirdly, He gave them to reach the lost, which may or may not even involve the Church. I do not exist for the Church!
I love the Church. The church has been my school on growing in Christ-likeness, it’s been my haven, my community.
But it doesn’t have anything on Christ.