Saturday, June 19, 2010

Love? Love the Church? by David VanCronkhite

Honestly, in today's religious environment how often do you hear these four words, "I love the Church"?

Well, I do hear it a lot, and frequently right before the big word "BUT" when someone starts to tell what he thinks is wrong with her, and how she should be and isn't. Sometimes that someone is me, but I want to be on record as a lover of the Church. It would be foolish not to. If we believe in the words of Jesus, then we are to love what He loves, and He loves His Church, even in her imperfect journey to revealing His perfect unshakable Kingdom.

Sometimes the inevitability of change can get us very excited. The change that is taking place in what is known as "the Church" gives many great hope.

The Church was designed to be the greatest relational community known to man. (That's a very bold statement.) I'm not talking about a Sunday service with teaching and worship, or even a service organization, but a people in relationship with one another, who have become dear to one another. Through success and failures, in difficult times and hardships, she remains strong, encouraging and offering hope. What's not to love about that?

The people who are the Church are known in their neighborhoods as individuals and families who care not only about themselves and their friends, but about neighbors and enemies. This love brands them as followers of Jesus and rebels of the systems, and draws the world to them.

Who wouldn't love this Church that is the supernatural expression of a supernatural people in love with a supernatural God who sent a supernatural Son to proclaim a supernatural Kingdom? And it's all offered and entered into by the simple faith of a child.

What's not to love about a Church that is so diverse that the world wonders how we can all live in the same community and gather together whenever? Black, white, brown, yellow, and red; rich and poor, young and old, married and single, winners, losers, straight and gay choosing to come together because we are supernaturally filled with a love that transcends prejudices and presuppositions, and leaves it to our God to be the judge.

I am so a lover of this Church where people know the law, but are aware of their constant need of grace while desiring to be a Father-pleaser in obedience to His rule. Where people understand His mercy, knowing that if they break even one law they are as guilty as breaking all hundreds and hundreds of them.

In this Church that He loves, we never have to fear being shamed and shunned and can be free to tell our stories as they really happened, always proving the faithfulness of God. It's an environment where there is safety and security to begin to deal with our issues without the fear of being thrown out like garbage.

Where else but the Church can we find relationally connected people with the power and gifts of God freely given "without repentance"? He says He will give us all we need to change the environment, to transform the neighborhood as He transforms us. He impregnates us from above with His DNA, that eternal seed of heaven, and says, "Now imitate me and be my ambassador!" And the neighborhood transforms, maturing in compassion, graciousness, slowness to anger, mercy, truth, covenantal faithfulness and forgiveness.

And, yeah, more than anything I love the love of the Church. It is the purest expression of a community of believers doing good for one another, who will not put up with rumors and slander and backbiting and talking trash about one another; where politics is not the issue or the answer, but the preeminence of God's Kingdom is; where we love each other as if our lives depended on it because love makes up for practically anything.

Of course I love the Church. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Who could resist such a love from such a God toward such a people?

David VanCronkhite


  1. And where IS this church you speak of ?

  2. She is developing, growing up into HIM;
    My children have far more the sense of loving community at church than I have ever experienced. They go to church to be with each other, and they love God and His ways.

    I often told God....I love you God....but your people....cause me so much pain and grief, I don't trust them, and don't want to be around them for more than a tiny bit.

    Let our faith, be the faith of Jesus who trusted The Father so much that he left the church in infancy to grow up. Who prayed we would have the same love that He and The Father have.

    I have hope for our children....that their relationships supersede what mine have been. They already do. And, I have hope that my age group is maturing, that my peers and myself will make choices that emulate Jesus.

  3. Where is this Church - it begins in each one of us. As we encounter God and devote our lives and time to Him, fellowshipping in His righteousness, loving Him by following His commandments, we become His True Church. We can then influence each person we meet and speak to them by the Light and Salavation of Him.

    Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light (He illuminates, makes clear, clarifies, lights up every situation so I can see clearly what to do and when to do it) and my salvation (liberty,safety, deliverance, prosperity and eternal life); whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

    Because we have a wholeness, completeness and soundness in Christ we have total protection - bringing a total peace in our heart.

    Isaiah 26:3-4 shows that if we keep our mind - thoughts, intellect, feeling and emotions - on Him we have perfect (complete, mature) peace with Him. Then each of us has His nature of Peace shining forth - His Church then is that light and salvation to a dying world. Each of us is the Church bring Glory to God and showing Him to others -the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.


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