The Challenge of Loving the Church

Many people seem to find it odd that, even though students in my college are training for ministry, even though they are the ones who, if anyone, should be passionate about Christianity and confident in their faith, it is during their four years studying here that many Bible students experience their worst period of doubt and discouragement.  They lose their enthusiasm for going to church and spending time with the Christian community.  Their attitudes are ones of cynicism and defeat.

Perhaps it’s not so strange as we think, though, that Bible students can so quickly become disillusioned with the church.  The more we learn about God’s will for mankind and his plan for the church, the more we become aware of just how short we fall of that.  It is difficult to remain passionate about something which has so vastly missed the mark.

Do we fight the church’s errors, accept them, or give in to them?  Or do we walk away from the disaster entirely?  It is not an easy question to answer.

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4 thoughts on “The Challenge of Loving the Church

    • Thanks for your comment! However, my college has been blessed with incredible, Godly faculty who do their best to build us up into wise leaders who will follow God’s Word no matter what. Often, though, even with all their time, hard work, and prayers, students do go through a period where it’s really hard to see past all the Church’s shortcomings.

  1. With this I can especially identify, having attended and graduated seminary… Three verses in particular come to mind in possibly identifying (much of) the root of the problem:

    1) “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.” (I Cor. 9.10, NRSV) In so many churches, after attending for some weeks at least, it becomes tragically apparent that there is disagreement and division ~ oftentimes over the most frivolous issues and inane questions, which leads to…

    2) “Love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn. 13.34b, ESV) Finding divisiveness and rancor in any number of churches ~ because bible college and seminary students often visit around just for the experience of exposure ~ would be quite disheartening, especially if one is looking toward ministry within the church, that is, the body of believers who have been commanded to…

    3) “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5.16, ESV) Instead of turning inward and focusing internally, the church is called together (which is, interestingly enough, what ekklesia means) to pray, praise, worship and be fed by the Spirit upon the life of her Christ, IN ORDER TO go back out into the world to live, love and shine … all to the glory of God ~ the very God to whom people would then be quite naturally attracted.

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