“I’m Not Interested in Building up the Church, just the Kingdom of God”
Oh, the things some Christians say and do. There is now buzzing about the Interwebs a whole lot of chatter about wanting to build the Kingdom of God, but not the Church. Well, this betrays a total misunderstanding of what the Bible says about the Kingdom of God and the Church. The sound-bite is appealing to those who want to be Christians but don’t like “the Church.” You see, there is this latent stream of arrogance that runs under much of the “missional” movement by which they try to drive a wedge between “the Kingdom” and “the Church.” For, you see, they are so much hipper, cooler, more in tune with and aware of “Kingdom issues” than “Church” things. Huddling in darkened candle-lit spaces singing spiritual songs is Kingdom building. Sitting around a table decided how to organize next year’s youth program: well, that’s just “church stuff.” You get the picture. Here is a nice rebuttal to this thinking:
Ray Ortlund responds to those who says, “My passion isn’t to build up my church. My passion is for God’s Kingdom.” He thinks such a sentiment sounds large-hearted, but is wrong–and can even be destructive:
Suppose I said, “My passion isn’t to build up my marriage. My passion is for Marriage. I want the institution of Marriage to be revered again. I’ll work for that. I’ll pray for that. I’ll sacrifice for that. But don’t expect me to hunker down in the humble daily realities of building a great marriage with my wife Jani. I’m aiming at something grander.”
If I said that, would you think, “Wow, Ray is so committed”? Or would you wonder if I had lost my mind?
If you care about the Kingdom, be the kind of person who can be counted on in your own church. Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church, participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.
We build great churches the same way we build great marriages — real commitment that makes a positive difference every day.
Coming soon: Reflections on the oft-heard comment in our circles, “We just want to make people Christians, not Lutherans.”