Is Today’s Church (AKA the “Body of Christ”) Healthy?
From a very young age, I've known God was my best friend, and I was part of a local church. But over the years, I've frequently wondered if God's people are living the way he wants, or if there might be more.
I'd had a busy day and I was very tired, so I sat down in the living room and began mindlessly flipping through the channels on our TV. After a few minutes, I stopped at a documentary about Stephen Hawking.
In case you aren’t familiar with him, Stephen Hawking was a British scientist who challenged existing scientific beliefs, postulated numerous new theories, and has been compared to Albert Einstein.
But as I watched the documentary, God whispered to me, "That's a picture of Christ."
Something much like an electric current ran through me. “What do you mean?” I asked.
Immediately, God brought to my mind two verses I knew well.
"Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Ephesians 4:15-16 (NIV)
Like me, you may be very familiar with those verses. You may know that Christ is the head (mind) of a body composed of all Christians, and that each Christian has been given gifts and talents and specific functions for the good of the whole body. You know that in a healthy physical body, each organ, limb, muscle, and vein functions perfectly.
Perhaps, like me, when you’ve read those verses, you’ve pictured the body of Christ as a healthy body where each organ, limb, muscle, and so on was functioning perfectly.
But what if, like the parts that make up Stephen Hawking’s body, some of the parts of the body of Christ aren’t functioning the way they were intended? What if many of them aren't functioning at all?
As I watched the documentary, I saw, not Stephen Hawking, but Jesus Christ, sitting helplessly in a wheelchair.
I don't profess to have all the answers, but one of the things I'll be doing here is exploring various ideas I have on how to get each part of the body of Christ working as intended.
This post was published first in my column, As Each Part Does Its Work, in the Maranatha News, which I wrote from March, 2007, until September, 2010.