"It tastes a little fishy"

"It tastes a little fishy"

I like to eat fish...Its good for you and its usually pretty tasty.  I like fried fish (NOT good for you), blackened, grilled..(ok this is sounding a little like Bubba Gump)...Point being, I like millions of people around the world like fish...but there's one way I (and probably everybody else) don't like fish...when it tastes too fishy.  You know what I mean..when it just not right..overcooked, undercooked, spoiled, whatever it is, but it just tastes like...fish.  I hear some fish described in glowing terms like "It's great...it doesn't taste fishy at all."  That's kind of funny isn't it..we like fish; we just don't want it to taste too much like fish.

I've been thinking for the past couple of days that that is exactly how I feel about the church.  Maybe thats how alot of other people feel too.  I love the church as the idea of the bride of Christ...as the community of Acts 2:42-47..as the plan Jesus had to be His vehicle to redeem the world.  I'm troubled however when the church becomes too "churchy"...when we are more concerned about entertainment than worship...when we are more concerned about the condition of the wallet than the condition of the soul...when we worry more about judging than loving..when we hate sin rather than welcoming sinners...when our building "look" like the church even when we don't.

I guess all that to say I'm thinking these days about how to be the church without being churchy...I'm still haunted by Ghandi's quote "I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  I wish your Christians were more like your Christ."  God calls us to hate sin.  He calls us to love sinners.  We cannot embrace sin as normality and we cannot reject sinners as abnormal.  We must be the church..there is no plan B.

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Let the one who serves serve in the strength which God supplies that in everything God may get the glory through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:11