Gandhi was once quoted as saying,
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.”
and you know sometimes I can understand his point of view. There are moments when, as Mr. Gandhi stated,
“Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
There are days when it is hard to love the people of the church. There are days when it is even hard to be a part of the church. There are days when as Christians we are tempted to chuck it all and go the Christian faith alone. Here is the thing though, Christianity is a team sport. To “go it alone” as a Christian is akin to trying to play basketball or soccer (football for those of you outside of the U.S.) by yourself. IT DOESN’T WORK!!!!
Chris Tiegreen has said,
“Blood is thicker than water….the Spirit is thicker than blood.”
And Matthew Henry has written,
“When we take God as our God, we take His people as our people.”
For better or worse when we accept Christ we are adopted into a family and that comes not only with the blessings of eternal life in Heaven but with the responsibility of loving and working with the rest of this humongous family we call the church.
The Apostle John wrote,
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” I John 2:9-11
Now some of you will say, “Well I don’t hate the people of the church. I just don’t want to have anything to do with them.”
I have to point out that functionally there is little difference between those two things. You are called not just to “not hate” the church. John calls you to “love your brothers and sisters in the church” and that means being involved with them.
I get it. Family is hard. Church is hard. But in the end we are are called to it. In Heaven you will be a part of the church so you might as well practice being a part of it now no matter how hard it might be.