Monday, July 8, 2013

Church - The New Kingdom, Not The Perfection Of The Old

Sometimes I believe that my church, or the local church, should be better than it is. Sometimes I am disgusted by my behavior and the behavior of others. I think, surely we are called to be more united, more loving, more supportive, or more submissive. 

However, that is not what unites us as Christians - especially in the church. If we have to depend on our love for one another we will all be in trouble. If this whole thing is riding on our tolerance or our unity, it is doomed. Thankfully, God made another way:

"The church is the one place on earth where Jew and Gentile belong together - not because they obey one law, but because they have the same minister/slave, the crucified Christ. Paul's final appeal is to this church which Christ serves as the fruit of faith: "welcome one another" (Romans 15:7). The church is the new kingdom, not the perfection of the old, and so the welcome is neither based on human virtues of acceptance nor of tolerance - nor even of love, but upon having the one, true preacher who takes away the sin of the world."

~ Steven D. Paulson, excerpt taken from Lutheran Theology

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