By Dan Betzer
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: "
looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
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.
Lets 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.
The church 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
Dan Betzer is pastor of First Assembly of
God in Fort Myers, Fla., and is an executive presbyter of the Assemblies