The Church’s Chronic Illness

Does the Church have MS?

That might seem like a strange question, but permit me to explain.  Jesus refers to the church (universal, not local building) as His Body.  Like the human body, the church is made up of many parts, all essential to its well-being.  The Head of the Church/Body is Christ.  That Body is only effective when it follows the lead of the Head.

The thing about MS is that the body is no longer obeying the head.  The brain says to the foot, “move”, but the foot does whatever it wants or does nothing at all.  The brain thinks, “I want to drink that glass of water”, but the hand either can’t lift the glass or drops it.  Or maybe the mouth has trouble swallowing it.

It goes on and on like that with the different body parts: arms, legs, bowels, eyes, ears, mouth, … any and every bodily function.  MS disturbs the communication between the intent of the mind and the action of the body part.  It’s also capricious in that things are OK one day but go south the next.  One part may be operating fine and everything else is haywire.

Back to the church.  All these symptoms sound frighteningly similar to my perception of the church of today here in America.  The Head, Christ, tells us to lay down our lives for one another, but our primary purpose appears to be self-preservation and entertainment.  We rarely even inconvenience ourselves for one another, never mind sacrifice our lives.

The anxiety that the Head tells us to release, we harbor and even nourish to our physical, emotional, and spiritual destruction.

Rather than forgive as He did and instructs us to do, we hold grudges and build bitterness.  As someone wiser than me – which includes most everyone – once said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.”

Like most analogies, this one breaks down pretty quickly.  Much of the damage in MS is actually in the brain itself.  Another, more significant difference is that there is no cure for MS.  There is a cure for the Church’s woes.  Jesus gave us the prescription.  In fact, the RX was written in the Old Testament thousands of years ago and we still don’t have it right.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

Receive the love of God and share it with our neighbors.  It couldn’t be more simple.  It couldn’t be more difficult.  But it’s the only sure cure for the sclerosis that cripples the Body of Christ.


About rickconti

It's not about me, remember?
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