What would you think, if I said….                               “I hate the church, but I love Jesus”?There might be some ...
If you are speaking of man-made churches and religions invented by men, I would    agree that such are NOT needed in order...
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I hate the church but love jesus

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Some are confused about the church that Jesus loves, the religion that God approves. Here is a brief essay pointing out how by not being careful with our words, we can say things we may not "really" believe.

After all, words mean things

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I hate the church but love jesus

  1. 1. What would you think, if I said…. “I hate the church, but I love Jesus”?There might be some who would say “Yeah, that’s what I believe, too.” If I were to make a slick video production and promote myself as a word artist, then perhaps I could go viral and get a million hits on YouTube. Perhaps. But, I doubt this article will get that kind of circulation. Why? Because what you are about to hear is truth. And for many people, the truth is just not as sweet and adorable as the lies that we prefer to be whispered in our ears.I am quite sure that there are people who hate the church. But, they are not usually the same people who love Jesus. And yet, that being said let me add that there is a growing sentiment among some that embraces the idea of loving Jesus while at the same time rejecting the “church”. So, what is happening in the minds of believers that allows them to love the Lord while rejecting the church?Maybe we should define our terms. What do you mean when you say “church”? For different people the word “church” can mean different things. Some say “church” and their mind sees a building, as in “the little white (painted) church that sits up on the hill.” It is hard for me to imagine anyone really hating the wood frame structure with a cross on the top surrounded by a gravel parking lot. Maybe what they really hate is what the structure “stands for”. Yeah, maybe that’s it.I can only conclude that some people look at church buildings and see the church denomination or religious hierarchy responsible for building it. And what they hate is not the actual building, but the religious organization responsible for its very existence. Thus, some could say “I hate the Baptist church” or the Catholic church, or the Methodist church, or the (fill in the blank) church. But, why stop at hating one particular church when you can include them all by saying “I hate the church, but love Jesus” and in one fell swoop condemn ALL churches?It is not hard to understand why some people hate the church or churches in general. These are the same people who can hate “religion” while claiming to love Jesus. Their perspective is that all churches are simply man-made religious organizations. As such, they feel NO loyalty to a church while at the same time they profess a deep loyalty to Jesus. They are disgusted with man-made religion and are reaching out directly to God through faith in Jesus for something they are NOT finding in the church.So, what is the truth about the church, or religion? Can one love Jesus and reject the church? Can one abandon religion and just believe in Jesus? I am convinced the answer to that depends on how you define “church”. It will depend directly on what you mean by the word “religion”.
  2. 2. If you are speaking of man-made churches and religions invented by men, I would agree that such are NOT needed in order to believe in Jesus. However, if you are speaking of the church that Jesus built, or the pure religion that God has appointed for us to practice, I cannot agree that such are NOT needed.So, as you can see it all goes to back to what you mean when you use the words “church” or “religion”. Herein lays the problem with such statements as “I hate religion (church), but I love Jesus”. There is a church that Jesus built (Matthew 16:18), a church that was purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28). There is a church which is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:23-27). There is a church which is comprised of all the saved of all the generations (after the cross). It is a spiritual house of God (1 Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:19-22). Christ is the head of the church and the Savior of those who are IN the church (Ephesians 5:23). So, how can one say that he hates the church, when we speak of the church that belongs to Christ?The same can be said about the word “religion”. I can understand the sentiment that says “I hate all false, man-made religion”. It is clear that God will also reject the religions that originate in the hearts of men, all the man-made churches that God has NOT appointed (Matthew 15:9, 13). But, has God also revealed in His Word that there is a “religion” – a pure religion – that is acceptable to Him?James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.It is hard for someone to say they love Jesus and then say again that they hate this “pure religion” that God has appointed for the faithful to practice. In the same way that one cannot easily separate Jesus from his body (the church – cf. Ephesians 1:22-23), one cannot embrace Jesus while rejecting “pure religion”.Jesus doesn’t hate religion. Jesus hates false religion. He hates man-made religion. He hates the very idea that some would try to love him while rejecting God’s revealed Way. There is a true religion, a pure religion that provides a way to God for those who believe in Jesus. It is a way untainted with false teachings that originate in the hearts of men. It is a way of Truth.John 8:31-32 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.In the same way Jesus does not hate the “church”. I refer here to His church, the blood bought body comprised of those who have been saved. Christians are members of this body (Romans 12:4-5). Those who try to reject the church while professing a love for Jesus are guilty of “spiritual decapitation”, that is, trying to separate the head (Jesus) from the body. That, in my mind is very unacceptable to God.Let me conclude by saying that I love Jesus. I love His church, His body and I love the pure religion God has appointed as the way I should worship and serve before Him. I would that all who believe in Jesus could also say this and mean it.

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