Thursday, September 11, 2008

Earthly Sowing Does Not Reap Heavenly Harvest

Steve Brown mentioned on his podcast that his Christian parachurch organization will die some day but the church is eternal. He said that Intervarsity, Campus Crusade for Christ, and many fine Christian colleges will die, but the church will live eternally. I agree with him. The church will be around for eternity, but I don't think this inflatable church building will be eternal. Neither will the national cathedral. (By the way, the Darth Gargoyle is from the National Cathedral. ) Most of you will say yes the people are the church and not the building. I would have you consider, that yes the people are the church, but not the denomination. Not the denomination, but neither is the local church government as a human institution. The church is a spiritual corporate body. People who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God all share a common experience of getting what we do NOT deserve, we all share in being a part of the family of God, we all share the indwelling Holy Spirit. I would propose that the churches that we belong to have at least two natures; one earthly and one heavenly. When the Lord's beloved share in worship of the eternal, holy savior, that is a part of the heavenly nature. When we pass by laws and set up a schedule for mowing the lawn, it is part of the earthly nature. The earthly things can and must be done with heavenly motives and empowerment and the heavenly service should not be faked with completely wicked motivations, but that is a blog post for another time. I think one of the reasons that people become disenchanted with church is that they invest their time, talent and resources in earthly nature of the church while expect a heavenly reward. Prayerfully caring for children is heavenly. Volunteering in the nursery is earthly. It has to do with motive and what one's action is trying to achieve. Without the work of the Holy Spirit which empowers beyond what is humanly possible, the church is on par with a bowling league, Boy Scouts, VFW, softball league or volunteer fire department. All of these are good things but earthly things. If we sow earthly things we should only expect earthly harvest. To reap the heavenly we should sow heavenly.
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