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From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Objections to the Church...” (Acts 2:47)

Zachery Byrd

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“And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
(Acts 2:47)

Summer time in Mississippi - heat, humidity, and VBS. Over the course of the summer, would you join me as we slow down and think about the Church - not your church, not my church, but the Church consisting of all those who profess Christ and their children around the world. What’s your thoughts on it? As a pastor, I often hear one of two things. Either “I don’t need the church,” or “The problem with the church is….” Can I address both of those in turn?

To my friend who does not need the Church, I share with you the words of the wise Aubrey Barnette: “You don’t need the Church to be a Christian? You don’t need a parachute to jump out of a plane either, but it sure helps!” Wiser words could not be spoken. In our very passage, those who were saved were added to the church because they needed it. Be it the Church “under age” (in the Old Testament) or the Church today, she was birthed in times of great persecution and great need.

Let’s face it - God does not waste a single word. Not an individual molecule is out of place. God saw our need and provided relief in the Church. If God established the Church for us, it must be necessary. (And for the record, the Bible only records one believer who wasn’t a member of a Church, and that was the thief on the cross. He was a little short on time.)

On a more fundamental level: when we are brought to God, we are brought together. When the Good Shepherd calls His sheep by name, He brings them into one flock with one Shepherd (John 10:16). One note is not a song, one sheep is not a flock, one Christian is not a Church.

To my friend who loves to point out problems with the Church, watch your heart. We are called to love what Christ loves and hate what Christ hates. Have you seen Christ hate the Church? Paul says: “Christ loved her and gave Himself up for her.” Can there be a deeper affection? In His final prayer, Jesus desires that we be with Him where He is; and yet, our words and actions often betray a desire to be rid of His people.

Are there problems? Of course! But love builds up, not tears up. Love speaks out, not shows out. Love doesn’t run from problems; love runs to problems. If the pastor is the problem, pray for him. If it’s discipleship, read the Bible with someone and disciple. Whatever the problem is, let your love be part of the solution.

And if you have no church, find one, love one, serve in one. If you can’t find one, I’ll point you in the right direction.

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