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What is the role of the church in our lives?

April 30, 2007

A few months ago I started coming to a realization that has solidified this week. That realization is that I have questions and concerns about the role of the church and how we as Christian’s are living that role. I am frustrated and grieved by what the global church is not doing and how poor an image we portray to the world. I am frustrated with myself and how I fail to live by Christ’s teachings.

Last summer I had some great conversations with a co-worker who started asking me questions about my faith and why I choose to live like I do. He is a really good man, and a great parent, and even believes in a greater power, but he can’t come to believe in Christ because of you and me. The hypocrisy of Christians and the church have turned him away.

Recently I have been thinking about the call that Christ laid out for us. I believe it comes from Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Often I hear people repeat verse 19, but they skip verse 20. There is a focus on getting people to “make a commitment” or “convert”, but what is our role (because we are the church) in teaching each other what Christ commanded? Are we helping each other know how to live as Christians and obey commandments? How do we walk that out every week? Are we expecting it comes out of only the pastor’s teaching during the weekly sermon? I believe we have a responsibility to help each other through this life. Are we doing that?

Last week I came across an article (No Transformation Necessary) that raised the question, “Should there be evidence of transformation in our lives because of our walk with God?” It is a interesting article if you want some further food for thought. 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 4given2 permalink
    May 1, 2007 4:07 pm

    You raise great questions here Sherie. I am guilty of leaving off verse 20 and never thought about it this way before. You are so right!! I found an article at Out of UR called No Transformation Necessary. Not sure if this is the one you are talking about but my thoughts on the topic are this:

    1) Is it our pride which wants us to have a perfect walk with the Lord so we get credit for a conversion and not the Lord Himself?

    2) Is the person asking this question making excuses for their own behavior (like children do – he was doing it so why do it matter?) ?

    3) Ultimately, the object of our faith is Christ, not the behavior of others. I know of no perfect Christian. Even the most spiritual person misses the mark light years in comparison to His Holiness and Glory.

    When we look at scripture, do we say I don’t want to become a Christian because David committed adultery and murder? Did Israel not believe God and forget the Promised Land because of Moses’ murdering and angry ways. The disciples ran out on Jesus during His trial and worst time. Do we say forget it, I don’t want to be like them?

    We believe in Him who is the object of our faith, not others. Comments, such as, the hypocrites in church or imperfect Christians typically come up when talking with others who are not believers. I could go on here but better stop….

    Delany

  2. May 1, 2007 8:59 pm

    Yes, that is the article I was referring to. Thanks for pointing out that my link didn’t work.

    Thank you also for reminding me that the object of our faith is Christ. You helped me realize I have been allowing other opinions to be guiding me lately. I have been desiring to live that perfect walk, and yet feeling like a failure because I am so far from the mark, but then aren’t we all.

  3. October 26, 2008 10:07 am

    hi i am doing some homework about what is the role of the church and what is the role of the church today and i can’t find anything! Can you give me some help? Thanx! Love Hi

  4. June 23, 2009 3:47 pm

    The role of the church today can not be seen in our lives because,of self-gain and ambition in the church leaders.People are going away from Christ because of no concern for them.Poor man today does not have privilage and opportunity today in the house of God,Because of this the church is not making impart.The church is not playing her role.

  5. June 23, 2009 4:53 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts! I am wrestling through a lot of theological beliefs right now and realizing that people are going away from Christ partially because we have been taught untruths. This week I have come to terms with a lot of things I have been led to believe in the past that were wrong. Through unlearning them my entire perspective on life and God has to change.

    I agree that there are leaders who are self-centered and as a large church there can be attitudes of unconcern, but I am not ready to make that a single cause for the complex issues around the problems of the church. If there is one single cause I think it is lack of true faith in the right view of God.

  6. Paul Feeney permalink
    June 3, 2010 7:04 am

    I’m currently wrestling with the idea that many good people use ‘Christ’ and ‘Religion’ interchangeably? Religion and/or Church is fallible, weak and man-made but ‘Christ’ is a consciousness and its a perfect consciousness that is available WITHOUT Church….it may not have been available without Church and Church Scholars two thousand years ago but we’ve come a long way since then. When I see Church and Religion defend the indefensible (Global instances of sexual abuse), it drives me further away from Church but closer to Christ. There are light years between the two…….

    Appreciate others thoughts on this?

    • June 3, 2010 10:15 am

      Paul, I think what you are wrestling with is a very common frustration and concern. It is one of the most common issues of disillusionment that I have heard from people, and is the key of the struggle I walked through with disillusionment. How do we reconcile the difference we see between the Christianity that Christ spoke of and portrayed with what The Church and Christians live out today? There is a difference, and it saddens my heart. Churches are formed and led by men, but The Church was God’s/Christ’s idea, not the idea of men.

      While the differences here can leave us frustrated, disillusioned, and saddened, I think we need to focus on Christ’s heart for The Church. It is his bride. He loves it and we need to also. Rather than turning away from it because it isn’t what it could be I think we need to love it, support it, encourage it, and help to make it better. The discouragement and disillusionment can drive us away from The Church, but that doesn’t glorify God and it leaves us separated and apart from the protection and care of being part of the flock. We need to be in community with each other. I believe Christ both spoke this and modeled it for us.

      What I have been learning is to focus on Christ, to know his heart and character….to know my identity as it comes from relationship with him, and through that I am filled and completed. When I am filled and completed I enter into relationship with others for them and for God, and not for me. I am now able to love God and others in ways I never dreamed were possible. As my heart has changed my love for The Church has grown incredibly and I now know that it is my call to do all I can to support The Church, share testimony of Christ’s good news and transforming power, and to teach others to live out a life of response to all of the Gospel and the Lord’s teachings. I am learning to turn my frustration and discouragement into positive action that changes lives. I think that is what will bring God the most glory.

  7. For the Lord permalink
    October 23, 2010 4:13 am

    Sherie:
    That is a very important question and one that everyone must answer after receiving the call to discipleship. The role of the Church in our lives, and by church I am thinking you mean the born again experience, is that Jesus Christ will use us to convince others that he is Lord and win them to Him.
    The Church as it relates to a change heart is to make us examples of Christ. The Church as it relates to the body of Christ is to provide a corporate support for each other, both spiritual and temporal.

    The role of Church is very prominent in the lives of those who believe in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus, which is the basis of the church. Hence the daily change in our walk, so that others may know that Christ is Lord. Jesus left the earth and gave the church a command to go and make disciples. When we begin to depict the role of the church we must walk in the ordinances of Christ exampled in the scriptures …Matthew through Acts referenced by the apostles teachings.

    May we embrace the basic truths revealed through the word of God regarding the role of the church in our lives

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