History is replete with stories of governments becoming abusive to the people they are fashioned to serve. One merely has to pay attention to world events to find many instances of abuses and usurpations brought about through governments. No matter the form of government, abuses can be found.
Despite so much injustice coming from the hands of those in governmental authority or the institutions of government, no sensible people argue that the government ought to be abolished altogether. No one wants a return to anarchy. No one trusts human nature enough to unleash people with no governmental restraints and protections.
It is precise because people have the tendency towards corruption that balances of powers are put in place in democratic governments. It is because of the waywardness of humanity that government is required and yet the governments themselves contain some of this corruption, hence the checks and balances. Most people don’t argue to abolish government because of the abuses, nor do people leave to go and find a nation without a government when there is a problem with the government.
The Abuse of Power
However, when it comes to church, people see abuses of power or other problems in a particular church or in the Church as a whole and their response is to give up on church, and sometimes on Jesus as well. But many are still all right with Jesus but disappointed or burned by the Church. We forget that the Church is made up of people like ourselves. Real people, who have bad days, make mistakes, do wrong things sometimes, and disappoint people. We forget that being in a church is being a part of a diverse community of people from all different places in their walk with Christ. If we were all the same, there would be greater cause for concern and questioning of authenticity.
We can’t put church community life into a category that demands it to be perfect, for it will fail as much as we fail. We miss all the good if we focus on the failures. It is so easy to allow negative things to cloud our vision so much so that we forget all the joys of being in a church community. We forget the friendships, the love, the family atmosphere, the encouragement, and the joy of working as a group toward growing in Christ. We lose more than we think by leaving, and we forget what we are missing by focusing on whatever injustice we observed, or of which we were the victims.
Relationship with Christ
Being in Christ isn’t just about being in a relationship with Him alone, but in being in relationship with other believers, iron sharpening iron, in good times and bad, and even in the midst of failures and disappointments. We also rob our fellow believers of our friendship and aid when we cease fellowship with them.
We all need refreshing, but that refreshing comes only from resting in Him. Even in a community with other Christians, we must live in a place of rest in Him. If our strength does not lie in Him, we work in our own strength, and that will wear on us quickly. That will rob us of our peace and joy.
A look at the Church on a different View
Let us begin again, and look at the church differently. We can start fresh and remember that we are all part of this family and we all need each other. The fastest way to learn to work together in the Body of Christ is to do so. The most assured way of having lasting relationships in the church is to build them in Him and build them as covenant relationships going through life together.
Love endures all things
It always hopes, always perseveres, and always trusts. It keeps no record of wrongs. It will never fail. The church isn’t an organization. It’s a living organism. A family. A beautiful family, and the bride of our Lord.