Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Root of Church Defection

…those who more boldly than others incite defection from the church, and are like standard-bearers, have for the most part no other reason than their contempt of all to show they are better than the others. (John Calvin, Institutes, 1030)

Ripping on the church has become a national past-time.  It is not uncommon for people to get so fed up with the brokenness of the church that they decide their relationship with Jesus could be just as easily cultivated at home. 

There is also the other type of person that hops from church gathering to church gathering but never firmly plants within a body.  There is nothing wrong with trying to find a church home.  But there is something wrong with NEVER planting.  And I question someone that is just “following where the Spirit leads” but never commits himself/herself to a local manifestation of the body that Christ died for. 

I understand there is more to this than the simple John Calvin quote. I understand there is much debate about what constitutes a “church” and that many are moving away from an institutional variety and embracing a more organic house church model. 

I simply want to make one point.  Make certain that you aren’t “defecting” out of pride and a sense of having it all together.  Do you love the church?  If your heart is not beating for the church of God then I doubt it truly longs for Jesus.  You can’t love Jesus and dis’ his wife. 


  1. Mike : Your post was very good and current. Yes, there will always be the "uncommitted", the "church hoppers", the ones "not being fed" and the list of descriptions can be even longer. However, church leadership, and I am not just speaking of the Pastor, can and often is the catalyst for the sheep to stray. Many (not all) church leaders today are caught up in their own desires of "protecting their own church turf and perceived power". They have a difficult time accepting and loving people who may be different or even provides a challenge to love them. As Church leaders we need to stop acting like Pharisee's and be more like Christ.

    God Bless
    Tom Spangler

  2. Tom,

    I'm not certain what you are specifically referencing, but certainly church leaders can be caught up in guarding themselves instead of the sheep Christ entrusted to us.

    I think we all would agree that a Christ-like heart is better than being a Pharisee. Problem is modern-day Pharisee's typically think they are being like Jesus. That's what plagues the Pharisaical heart--self-delusion.

    Thanks for your encouraging words, and for commenting. It's always appreciated.



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