Deciphering Our Delusion—What Happened to the Church (Part 1 of 4)

I often wonder what Jesus really thinks about the state of the modern church. Disappointed—perhaps. Discouraged—not on your life. Dumbfounded—could be the exact word to describe what He must be thinking. Its present motivation and current condition are, for the most part, light years away from what He intended.

Boiled down to the basics the church was birthed to be an extension of Christ—to be His living, breathing body here on earth. It was formed to function as though Jesus Himself was here in person meeting, ministering, and building relationships with generations yet to know His unmatched love or unmerited grace. Every Christian (the word means “little Christ”) is equipped through the power of the Holy Spirit to flesh Jesus out in real shoe leather.

I think we have forgotten how the real Jesus acted or even what He looked like. In fact, based on much of what passes as “church,” it is obvious that His Bride is afflicted with a crippling amnesia that could become a deadly case of dementia. Her recollection of her Bridegroom seems to be slipping quickly away—soon to become ancient history.

The visible representation of Christ on this planet has now become known more for what it’s against than what it’s for—what He gave His life for. In case you’ve forgotten Jesus died for people— people like Joe and Edna living across the street, Billy down at the service station, Paul sitting in a cell at the county jail, and Cindy who navigates the shadows of the night selling her dignity to provide food during the day for her twin babies. His sacrifice never discriminates, but the 2011 edition of His body cannot say the same thing.

Much of His body has become exclusive rather than inclusive, begrudging instead of generous, hurtful instead of helpful, condemning rather than comforting, cold instead of compassionate, haughty rather than humble, and downright mean instead of merciful. Jesus is dumbfounded that the servant model of ministry He instituted has been conveniently replaced with a serve-me-model of ministry. He must be mystified at how easily those whose spiritual DNA is stitched together with the thread of His divine love could unravel and become so unloving.

Has the Bride of Christ gone stark raving mad? No, she has become delusional, wandering around in the past, wondering why more are not captivated by the illusion of her beauty or awed by the emptiness of her magnanimous actions. In the mind of most, everything is O.K. Therefore, reality must once again rule in the hearts of the redeemed. We, the church must once again take a hard long look at our Leader. If a change is to occur a righteous remnant must once again return to a simple, systematic replication of the biblical Jesus.

The Son of God was refreshing, relational, and relevant in every situation, with every person, and at all times. In other words, wherever Jesus went He attracted large crowds. Life sprang up and flourished abundantly. For His Body to recover His popularity it must recover His passion. To do this the Church must decipher the depths of His heart instead of the delusions of ours.