Jesus modeled in the church
I think people are searching for the real church, the one they read about in the Bible. They want to see the sincere love and faithfulness that they find in the scriptures. They want to have true fellowship with God and his children. They want to see examples of true discipleship. They want to see true unity in the body. They want to be involved in the cause of Christ. They want to be on mission for God. They want to see Jesus modeled in the church.
We are called to be disciples of Jesus, not Peter or Paul, not Stone or Campbell but disciples of the Son of God. We must learn from Jesus. We must emulate him in our lives. Young people coming up in the body of Christ want and need to see Jesus in his body. If they see hypocrisy and in-fighting they see something other than Jesus. Jesus didn't practice such things. If he had, he would not have qualified as our savior. The only people Jesus pointed a finger at was the Pharisees and that was for their hypocrisy. The Pharisees were very devout religious leaders, yet were totally wrong in their approach to teaching and modeling righteousness. They were self-righteous. Jesus is the good teacher, let's adopt his teaching methods. We as members of Christ body are only righteous because he has made us righteous.
Imagine if we as the church, began to teach just what Jesus and his Apostles taught without attacking other groups and pointing out their mistakes. If we would just teach the truth of the scriptures and not point to the errors of other congregations. What good does it do when we have our noses in others business?
We may have great biblical knowledge and yet we may not be using it wisely. Having knowledge alone is not sufficient. As the Apostle Paul said; This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Cor. 8:1b-3 ESV) Does our method of teaching show our love for God, or our love of knowledge and being right? What motivates us to teach and how we teach?
Self examination is crucial to healthy relationships. When we see so many young people leaving, we cannot just blame it on them. It certainly is not the Lord's fault. We as the older generation and leaders must look carefully at ourselves and ask some hard questions.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman