Cheating On Your Church
A substantial taste:
There are some legitimate reasons to leave a church once you join as a member . . . But they are few in number. And most reasons people leave amount to nothing more than ecclesial adultery. When you promise fidelity to both Jesus and a congregation of his disciples and then break that promise over matters as simple as boredom with worship or frustration with a committee, you are running out on the bride of Christ. It's cheating on your church, folks . . .
There is, of course, an underlying reason why people instinctively think that seeking out a church that meets all their felt needs is a God-given right. And it has to do with consumerism and the aforementioned market economy. Most Americans simply cannot conceive of the idea of not being able to choose their church the way they do their cell phone plan or where they'll get tonight's take-out. But think about what that mindset does to the Bride of Christ: it turns her into a cheap prostitute, who peddles her wares on street corners in the hopes that you'll condescend to choose her over all her similarly cheap competitors.
If you want to do something truly radical for Jesus (and 'radical' is a relative term in our historically weak era), commit to his bride the way you did to your own bride or groom on your wedding day. Stay with her through thick and thin. Help your fellow brothers and sisters there to grow in discipleship. And whenever you get mad at some perceived slight in your church, realize that you are committed to that community in such a way that you are called to reconciliation rather than self-chosen alienation.
Spot flippin' on.
(HT: Matthew Johnson at the BHT)