Thursday, February 4, 2016

There's no stopping us

I don't know any institutional church that isn't essentially a club of a sort. That's almost what "church" means in our day and age and culture.

The real meaning of church which we all know but constantly avoid keeping before our eyes is this: It is family, and if it isn't family in every sense of the word, then it isn't really church either.

Church is where not only am I welcome, but where I make everyone who crosses the threshold welcome.

Church is family. Church is home. When it isn't both of these, it simply isn't really church, just a practice run at best, or a sham at worst.

It may seem I am being unjustifiably harsh and idealistic in what I just said, but I'm not. I belong to a church and accept it for what it is. I know it's a club, but I still go, because I also know that the real Church begins when I open the door of my heart not only to Jesus but to a stranger who might cross my threshold wherever I am, even at church.
People can choose churches like they choose shops or restaurants or nightclubs or cinemas. Right there, we should be able to tell that what they're choosing is not really "church" but something in place of it.

Again, the real Church is universal, all people intrinsically belong to it, they're born into it and, hopefully, they are born again within it. Christ died for all men and this world has thus become the breeding ground for the new Adam.

In the Middle Ages, everyone in Europe was a Christian, unless of course they were Jews. On the down side, that was the age of the state church inaugurated by emperor Constantine. On the up side, it made the whole of society an ikon for what the Church really is, and the possibility was always there to meet Christ everywhere one went.

Churches were not individual little caves or cages where people could get clapped or trapped as they are now. Churches were literally the doorways to the new World that Christ has gone ahead of us to prepare.

Entering a church you entered home and were welcomed into the life of the Holy Triad as a member of a single family.
How different it is for us today!

The answer to all criticisms of the institutional church is that we are the Church, buildingless, undogmatic, empathetic, unbounded and unlimited by walls and roofs, uncontained by doors and gates, and free of all restraint in our following of Jesus.

Where we stand, where we walk, where we find ourselves is or can be always a place of peace, welcome, family and home. If we are this, if we choose to be this, then our churches, clubs though they be without our help, can still be portals into the life of the world to come, doorways into the mansions of the Son, who has been building them for us in His Father's House, till this moment from day one.

If we will be this, there's no stopping us.

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