Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Church Lust

I'm married. If I look at a woman I'm not married to, that's lust and the person I'm looking at becomes pornography to me. When a man looks at another woman, or a woman at another man, that is not love. That is lust. The object of the lust is just that - an object. And, desire for an image or object is, by definition, porno-graphy.

I think that sometimes we have pornographic desires for other churches. Pastors are certainly guilty. Just about every colleague I know has checked out another, flashy church. We complain about the lack of commitment to the local church, about church hoppers, etc., but it may be that pastors are just getting what they have sewn through the years of short tenure and their own church-hopping to the greener pastures; greener pastures which quickly become brown deserts in the lustful hearts of dissatisfied pastors and member of churches.

If you compare pastoral tenure and church membership to marriage, some of us are as polygamous as Joseph Smith. At the very least we have practiced serial polygamy.

The really sad thing is this. Jesus said that the only real evidence to the reality of His resurrection is in the love we, His people, have for one another. And, when we cannot or will not "love the one you with," then the world will not see Christ. It's easy to love the image of love. That's why a man can leave the wife of his youth for a more youthful wife, believing she is better only to find out she is not.

We all know that no church is perfect. The question is whether we will love our own church perfectly; meaning, "Will I love my church as it is, warts and all?" That is the kind of love that proves we are His disciples, and the kind of love that proves to the world that our Jesus is real.