“Hey Mark, What’s bugging you buddy?”
Sometimes events happening on the cusp of one’s awareness have a profound influence upon oneself.
Last week there was a church split in Johannesburg. It seems that the elders of a large church, Honeyridge Baptist, had irreconcilable differences which resulted in a number of elders instituting steps of church discipline against another one of the elders. A central figure resigned and others followed. I don’t pretend to know the details but I know that there is hurt and confusion in that body of believers.
“What a mess!”
We’re in the middle of the build up towards national elections in South Africa. Rhema, a Charismatic, Word of Faith, megachurch in Rosebank invited and flouted Jacob Zuma as a guest speaker at their main service last week Sunday. Jacob Zuma is the leader of the African National Congress and the most likely candidate for the position of next president of South Africa. He has four wives. FOUR WIVES! He also has charges of corruption hanging over his head. He delivered a keynote address at a church service.
“What a mess!”
The same kind of divisions and disunity seems to be all around me. I’m looking around confused and bewildered asking, “Where is the bride, the spotless and perfect bride of Christ, refined and pure?”
“What a mess!”
Disappointment, disillusionment, disenchantment.
I was reading through an old note I had posted on Facebook a while back and I’m having a bit of a turnaround: In Matthew’s Gospel chapter 16 verse 18 Jesus says:
Jesus is the builder: A while back I needed some additions done to my home. It ended up being a total disaster. The builder was completely inept. On top of that he wasn’t the most scrupulous of characters either. Basically my wife and I ended up regretting that we had even started the process. Jesus, speaking to Peter says: “I will build.” With our Lord and Savior as the builder how could the end product be anything but perfect!
Jesus is the owner: I remember the first car my wife and I bought together. It was a second hand 1.6l VW Polo, brilliant white, cheap mags and kitsch upholstery. We were so proud. I can remember the smile on my face as I drove it around the block saying to my wife: “this is it love, I want this one!” I’ve never had more problems with a car in my life. The previous owner drove it into the ground. It needed so much work on it that I eventually had to take a huge knock and trade it in on a Toyota. Well the Church has had one owner throughout its lifetime: Jesus Christ. That’s why He called it “my church.”
Jesus is the future: I’m the same as you. I hang my head in shame at what I read in the newspapers, the four walled monster the world calls the church. The priests with hands that can’t stay off little boys, the pastors notching up as many wives as Solomon and doctrine straight out of a liberal political party’s election pamphlet. Thing is: looks can be deceiving. That’s not the Church! It’s a whole lot of charlatans running around shouting Lord! Lord! He doesn’t even know them! The Church has a guaranteed purified, sanctified, holyfied, glorified eternal future. Jesus said: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
What do you think of he church? Is it a mess? Do you think you’re part of the soluton or the problem?