Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unwitting Accomplices To The Demise Of The Church - Part 3

One afternoon, he drove up to his home to find his wife and children standing in the front yard with eyes and mouths open, staring blankly at what had been his perfect house. As he looked toward the house, he was shocked. The center section had fallen three feet. Rafters were protruding from the roof on the right and the left. The front door was splintered. How could this have happened? He did not know that the house had been built on top of an underground stream. He knew there was a spring that came out of the hillside down below, but he had not been aware that the water had slowly eroded a sink hole under the center of his house. That day, however, in a catastrophic event, the center of the house had fallen into the hole. Years of erosion had done their work.

Lenin said that the west would fall without a battle of arms. He said that the last great western power would fall from internal corruption whose roots was in the selfishness of capitalism. Of course, his empire fell first from the corruption of the selfishness of communism. I wonder if the constant criticism of the local church has been reform or erosion.

How can I correct, how can I hold the church to account without eroding its foundation? I must first hold myself to account. I must awake each morning and look into the mirror for the log in my eye. I must hold myself to accountability. All church change in the New Testament came in the context of the church. Leaders are held to account by elders and by the body. Elders and the body hold members to account. Brothers and sisters go to brothers and sisters personally, via their relationships, when correction is needed. The worst possible discipline of the local church was excommunication, removal of a member from the church. Today, we are much more likely to perform congregational excommunication, removing the church from ourselves.

Above all, I must make sure that my motive is love, not rightness; love, not selfishness; love, not power. I must be more concerned about building up the church on Christ than tearing it down around me.