Column: Whose Church Is It? 

Published 10:46 am Sunday, March 17, 2024

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By April J. Buchanan | Religion Columnist

Christ loves His bride.

Evangelism and church growth methods have taken a dangerous turn in the last several decades. Increasingly, man-made methods have – perhaps with well-meaning but misguided intentions – replaced God’s Word as central and authoritative. As a result, Christ’s bride has been neglected and prostituted in order to “attract” the world.

Whose bride is she? To Whom will an account be given for her care? While this ought to convict the hearts of pastors and elders, it ought to convict the heart of all who are Christ’s bride. Did we change who we are and dress up to attract an idolatrous world or have we been faithful to our King?

With an increase in biblical illiteracy and man-centered messages, dangerous doctrines and worldly ideologies have found their home in many pulpits and in the pew. What is holy has been sacrificed for what is attractive to the world. Biblically illiteracy is a plague in the church that opens the door to all kinds of errors and this while many do not even see the danger. Truth is redefined. Love is redefined. And many don’t notice. Success is measured by what “works” and when that no longer works, the newest attractional methods are applied. God’s Word is pushed further aside and Christ’s bride is starving for truth and guilted that she must play the part if she really wants to “love her neighbor”. But what does she look like? What is she attracting them with and to? Whose bride is she?

The local church that obeys Christ in keeping His Word central and loving His bride and welcoming the lost but not changing what the church is to please the lost, is considered by many: simple, dull, dry, boring and outdated. They hate her garments. They despise her King. They demand she be more like them. She is considered unloving and judgmental because she will not change her garments to please them and she will not love them as they demand but she loves them with the love of God.

Christ has made clear in scripture what the local church should look like. With increasing Biblical illiteracy and sound expositional preaching missing from many pulpits, we are seeing false prophets and false teachers on the rise, lack of biblical discernment and postmodern redefinition of terms like truth and love in the church. Her greatest threat has never been outside, it has always been inside.

Christ will build His church. He does not need the newest and latest marketing scheme or attractional method. The Bible needs to be placed back in its place of prominence. The scriptures need to be rightly taught and rightly applied in the governing of Christ’s church by Biblically qualified men. Christ’s bride needs to be taught, loved and cared for. Evangelistic methods must come straight out of God’s Word and not the newest and latest pragmatic methods.

Christ loves His bride. Let us love one another.

Grace and Peace

Soli Deo Gloria