I was raised in church. Began a relationship with Jesus at the age of 12. been in ministry since I was 17. I have seen a lot of things in church. Some very good... some very bad. Mostly all done in the name of "Jesus". There have been times I have have been proud of the church... others times where I think we just don't get it. In all those times I am reminded of a few things.
1. God is perfect, mankind is not.
2. People can be mean.
3. People can be extremely good.
4. People have the propensity to focus on the bad.
5. (most importantly) it is the church that is built upon the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.
With this being said... I wonder why some remain in the church? Let me put it to you this way... If i continued to shop at Walmart and I all did was complain about the prices, the music playing in the background, the demographic who shop there, the location, the intentions of the manager... wouldn't it be wise to find another store? I wonder why the church is tolerated by those who all they can do is complain? Is it that they have higher expectations for it than what is realistic? Is it that criticism has become recreational?
Would I like to see the church move into new ways of reaching people and being effective? yup? Do I wish people would get the heart of Jesus? yup. Do I wish those with a beef with church not feel like they are the only ones who desire this? yuuuup. Why do you stay? fellowship? Family? is that enough to invest time into such a large undertaking? Why do you stay? I remember a message I heard preached about Joseph of Arimathea. While everyone wept over the death of Jesus.... Joseph was begging for the body of Jesus. While everyone was preparing to bury it along with all the promises Jesus made about His kingdom... Joseph was petitioning to have it. Something tells me he saw something in the body while others were proclaiming it empty and done. Why do I stay? I sincerely believe that the Body isn't done.