There was a recent Youtube video by a guy out of the state of Washington who talks about his hate of religion but his love for Jesus. There have been countless replies and I guess mine is no different except for one… I love the Church.
You see whenever people lop in religion, church, Christianity, politics, etc. they always arrive at the final destination that we are all Pharisees and that Jesus came to rebuke them. Anybody who has studied the Bible for more than five minutes knows that it is not only false but the exact opposite… Jesus didn’t come to rebuke the religious but instead point out their errors in hopes of seeing them repent (which in the end many of them did).
The church, or religion as they like to call it, is the Bride of Christ and it has a special place in God’s heart. You only have to read Revelation 19 to see that Marriage Supper of the Lamb is to the church, and most specifically the New Testament church. Jesus cares for and nurtures his Bride like any man would who is engaged to someone he loves.
We could point out a lot of flaws in the church but if we truly believe that God is sovereign and all knowing then we have to believe that when He created the church he knew it would be a place for perfectly flawed people. I, as a pastor, am comfortable with that. I love nothing more than seeing seriously broken people come into the church and be restored. That is what God designed it for and it is the only place it happens.
Let’s address some of the issues. The first knock is that the church doesn’t feed the hungry. Hmmmm, I don’t know about your town but in Lompoc the church is the ONLY group that does feed them and I am sure that is true in most cities. To say that feeding the poor should be the main focus, which is asserted by it reference, it shortsighted. No one ever has come to Christ because of a bowl of soup, but because the Holy Spirit was working through the church in their service to Him to move on the heart of the people.
Second, Christians don’t vote Republican because that is the Christian thing to do. They vote against the liberal, progressive, freedom-stealing policies of those politicians who usually happen to fall into the Democratic camp. Sadly the younger generation see politics from a social justice perspective where as older generations see politics from a personal freedom perspective. I grew up in a family that voted for Democrats by default and we rejoiced when Jimmy Carter was elected. What a train wreck! Now thirty-six years later he is seen as a knight in shining armor.
Finally you could say that you love Jesus but hate religion but if you profess to be a Christian then you would essentially be saying that you hate yourself. As a Christian you are part of the church (religion) and thus the Bride of Christ. And Christ laid down his life for you, the church, and all those Pharisees.