Blemishes in the Organized Church
to make Her ready as the most beautiful and glorious Bride for the
Bridegroom, “not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that
She should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:22-32; Rev 19:7). In
order to heal the wounded Bride, we need to first know where the major
blemishes are. Despite the immaturity of the Church in general, we
shall one day see a glorious Church as promised by God, full of His
pure love and power.
[Excerpt from Ps Tan’s book the Spiritual World.]
The church is to be without blemish or spot for Jesus’ coming
(Ephesians 5:27). The following are some of the greatest flaws that
need to be corrected in the present modern church:
1. The present emphasis on physical and material wealth. The temporal
has now become a priority in the organized church rather than the
eternal. Such that even church members speak of not being interested in
attendance or spiritual things if they do not see any physical or
financial benefits resulting in their own lives. The vast majority of
sermons and books are now the “feel-good Christianity” and the
All these things pass away. Lay not up for yourselves treasures on the
earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal
but rather lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 John 2:15). You cannot serve God and Money. You cannot serve two masters. The shameful focus on money, success and wealth is a decline of Christianity happening in front of our own eyes that we are too blind to admit or see.
2. The religiosity without love. Church leaders and members are quick
to condemn and judge in self-righteousness. Much of their attitude
seems like the Pharisees of old and definitely not like Jesus. Did
Jesus condemn the woman at the well? Did Jesus condemn the woman caught
in adultery? Did Jesus condemn Zacchaeus? Jesus gave them all a chance.
How can one say three strikes and you are out when Jesus says to
forgive seven times seven? The apostle Paul would not have a chance in
the modern church since he has murdered and killed many church people.
We need to understand that ONLY God sees the heart.
David committed adultery and murder but he was still a man after God’s heart. Abraham lied and put his wife in danger yet he was God’s man for the hour. Peter denied Jesus three times but his destiny as a leader over the church was never changed because through it all in his heart, he still loved Jesus. Who amongst the organized church has not sinned in word, thought or deed? Yet as those who have received
abundant mercy and are ambassadors of the love of God, we have shown so
little mercy and so little unconditional love. In these last days,
religiosity without love will lead to the path of self destruction and
darkness. The True Church might end up outside the walls of organized church if this attitude continues.
3. The lack of interest and hunger in spirituality. Open your eyes and
see. While the present church and its ministers are occupied with the
things of this world, the spiritually hungry and unchurched are looking
to get away from the things of this life by the millions and seeking a
more contented and spiritual existence. There are now rats in the
church running the rat race while there are now lambs outside the
church seeking to be fed. We have replaced the Life of God with our creeds, the Lamb of God with our rituals and the commandments of God with our rules.
Blessed are those who are poor in spirit. Blessed are the meek. Blessed
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are the
merciful. (Matthew 5:3-7). Instead of being poor in spirit, we are
proud in spirit. Instead of being meek, we are cunning, crafty and
worldly wise. Instead of being hungry and thirsty for spiritual
righteousness, we are hungry and thirsty for worldly success. Instead
of being merciful, we are masters of judgment and condemnation. No
wonder we do not inherit the true kingdom of God nor inherit the earth;
nor receive the awakening of spiritual righteousness, nor obtain the
mercies of God. We should cry in shame at the spiritual hunger outside
the church which contrasts with the physical worldliness in the church.
4. The persecution of the church by the church. One would have
reasonably expected that Jesus’ warning of tribulation be occurring
from outside the church. He clearly stated that it would be from
outside the church (John 15:18-21). Imagine the pain and agony of Christ to see that a vast majority of persecution of Christians is from other Christians (leaders and laymen).
How did we become a cancer and start killing our own? Why can’t we love
everyone who is born of God (1 John 5:1)? If we say we love, then why
are curses and condemnation – sometimes in both cruel words and deeds –
still flowing from those who claim the right to be arbitrators of
justice in the church? Have we forgotten the history of the Inquisition
when many innocent died in the hands of the “religious righteous”?
During the Inquisition, clergy and laymen spent their time inventing new methods of torture. In our modern times, the new torture is by exercising the right never to forgive and forget, the right to ostracize, digging out one another’s sins, washing dirty linen in public and humiliating one another. Look outside your church around your city streets and malls. You will find many injured lambs and discouraged sheep lying in pain – kicked by the church but nursed by the unchurched Samaritan. O when will Jesus’ prayer in John 17 ever be fulfilled? When will the church be the church?
There is a dark cloud and shadow trying to enter the church in these
last days. It is not sent by God, rather the above accumulation of
negative energy in the church is going to bring forth its own self
destruction (and hopefully purification and cleansing). Yet through all
these, there are those who truly walk in Christ’s love and Spirit both
in the church and outside the church. These will be enclosed in the
arms of God’s light and power throughout every upheaval, experiencing the goodness of God’s mercy and favour in season and out of season.
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