Can You Love God and Not Love the Church?


It’s been a while, but I thought I’d hop back up on the porch and add some commentary to the recently posted video from the Urban League on the State of the Black Church. While the guests offered great insight into the ills and misunderstandings of the black church, there was one point in particular that pushed a button of mine.

Sister Onleilove Alston at minute 9:22 in the conversation gave us insight into the mentality of some of the young leaders organizing movements in Ferguson. Commenting on the leader’s interaction with clergy, she said, “What the clergy fail to realize is that these young people believe in God, they just don’t go to church.” She cited the resistance to change and the infatuation with sagging pants exhibited by the older generation as reason for their absence.

I was tracking with and even enlightened by much of the conversation. However, that statement was quite troubling. I am not sure if those are her personal beliefs, so this is no attack on Sis. Alston. In fact, she expressed a desire not to bash the church. However, it appeared as though this was a valid excuse for these young leaders neglecting the church. The mentality was not challenged or confronted. My unease is that until we confront such thinking much of our other conversations around the ills of the Black Church and the church at large will be futile and merely temporary fixes. What you believe about God is vital to the discussion regarding the State of the Black Church, both for those inside and outside her walls. Your beliefs inform your actions. And so that is where the conversation must begin, with belief, if it is to move forward.

The Christianity that the Bible describes is indeed about belief, but it is not solely about belief. The demons as well as Satan believe in God). And if that isn’t enough, they recognize his authority ). But that belief is altogether different than the belief in God held by the Christian. For true believers, belief in God leads to action. Our belief leads us to trust Christ; it leads us to follow the commands of God ). Those who rightly believe in the God of the Bible love what He loves. So to say you believe in God and yet neglect the church, which He loves, more accurately reveals your belief in the god of your imagination rather than your belief in the God of the Bible.

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SOURCE: The Front Porch
Philip Duncanson

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