If you limit
your personal activity only to those places where there
are no frauds or hypocrites, you are going to have to
find a tiny island somewhere in the ocean. Itll
be just you and a coconut tree.
Are there hypocrites
in the church? Of course. Is there counterfeit money?
I tried to pay a clerk one day with a $20 bill. I was
immediately summoned to the managers office and
held there while my money was checked for authenticity.
Seems someone had been laundering funny money through
that store. Thankfully, my $20 bill proved good and I
was released. Will I still go back to that store? Of course.
Why? Because it sells a commodity I need. Am I upset about
being stopped? Sure. Am I concerned so much about counterfeit
money that Ill stop earning and spending a salary?
Of course not.
Spare us your
isolated stories about frauds in the house of God. No
one doubts the charge. The writer to the Hebrews gives
you a better way to spend your time: "
unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith"
I love the
church. So did Jesus. The Bible says that Christ loved
the church and gave himself for it. More than at any time
in history, His church is alive and well.
define Christs church: It is that body of believers
in Jesus Christ who have fallen in love with the Savior,
have given their hearts and lives to Him and made Him
Lord of all they are, and who have been washed from their
sins by the precious blood of Calvary. Oh, how Jesus loves
the church. If you turn your back on the church for any
reason whatsoever, you have rejected something close to
the heart of the Master.
The Bible teaches
that the church is the body of Christ on this earth: "...
we ... are one body in Christ, and every one members one
of another" (Romans 12:5). Have you ever had a part
of your body fail you? I had major spinal surgery some
years back. It would have been ridiculous for me to have
said, "Well, I reject my whole body because my spine
is just a hypocrite. Its just not doing what its
supposed to be doing." Galatians 6 teaches us to
restore broken members of the body, not to reject the
body as a whole.
offers fellowship, teaching, opportunities for service
and compassionate service to mankind through myriad endeavors
and leadership. So am I going to turn aside from this
marvelous institution because there are a few frauds in
it? Not a chance. Neither should you.
Betzer is pastor of First Assembly of God in Fort Myers,
Fla., and is an executive presbyter of the Assemblies