Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm in love with a beautiful woman

I was reading something on an emergent website and one of the guys said we need to be cynical. Now to a point I understood this; cynical I think in his view meant questioning.

I don’t think we need to be cynical, in fact optimistic would be a much better trait for the emerging church to have. The world is cynical, this generation is cynical - we are meant to be counter cultural, the opposite. Why not change cynical to optimistic, trusting or if you are a cynic you could change it to naïve!

I believe we need to be optimistic about the future of the church. Church is the bride of Christ, crazy biblical language that we don’t always get. Yet totally true. Christ laid His life down for the church, His bride that he is passionately head over heels in love with. More than we can imagine, His heart races for her.

I feel that sometimes we treat the church more like a prostitute than a bride; we throw our money at her, go for the occasional “good time” but we wouldn’t want to be seen sharing our lives with her.

I want to see a generation that is passionately in love with the church in all it’s shapes and sizes, maybe slightly naïve, but very optimistic about it’s future. That would be a breath of fresh air. Instead of always trying to change church we could work along the lines of adding to church, bringing more to the already existing picture, enhancing the beauty of the bride rather than pulling her down and deconstructing. We should view our new expressions of church as revealing more of her complexity, mysteriousness and beauty.

I do rant about leaders, church etc.. but I love her and them. I love church, in what ever form you have it, it’s beautiful. I will give my life to church and for church, as Bill Hybels says “local church is the hope of the world” whatever your expression of church is, that should be true for you. Maybe it’s an arrogant statement, or maybe it’s just optimistic and naïve. This gorgeous complex bride is the hope of the world.

This bride, this beauty who Jesus was so passionate about that he laid his life down for her deserves more than we give her. It’s like getting married and always telling your wife what she needs to do to improve, always picking at her faults, running her down to your friends - she won’t flourish under this constant disapproval and nagging to change.

You look for the good, you bring out the best, you are blind to her weaknesses, because you love her. You want to be with her, you don’t dump her when she upsets you, you work it out, you stay committed, you go through stuff together but through it all you grow closer. It’s a love affair with ups and downs, highs and lows, it’s a wild ride and sometimes it’s a plod, but you still love her. This is how we must be with church. Leave off knocking the bride - if someone spoke about my wife the way I hear some people speaking about the church, I would give them a slap!

The church - the bride of Christ.

She’s a stunner we should hang out with more!


J-Mac said...

Just finished a post on cynicism and crossed over to see you have one also. Think I'm being spoken to by God and Oscar Wilde: "A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing"

Andy Fay said...

that's one of the loveliest tributes to church I've read - cheers Brian.