Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
26 Remember,dear brothers and sisters,that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead,God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. (NLT)
We sometimes hear people criticise ‘organised religion’. It is not always clear what they mean. Often it is a criticism of a church bureaucracy,or even church itself. The implication might be that such people figure they can get by better in their relationship with God without the all too imperfect church messing things up for them.
It is true that the church can stand in the way of encountering Jesus rather than helping us meet him. It is true that the public pronouncements of the church and its mixed record down through the years can be a stumbling block.
But it is just not possible to follow Jesus with a private sort of spirituality,one which shuns those with whom we disagree,one which gives up on people who are not like us. The Christian church is an assortment of all too fallible people whom we might not ordinarily mix with. We may only have in common our belonging to God through faith in Jesus. And that is meant to be enough.
We make the journey to maturity in Christ in partnership with others. It is not a solo trip. And as Paul reminds us,those ‘others’ may not be our types,may not conform to our idea of what being a Christian is all about. In all our complaints about ‘organised religion’,we have no alternative but to throw ourselves into the unorganised religion that is the church.