I am tired of hearing people bash the Church. I’m tired of them listing all the things they think are wrong with God’s people. I’m tired of hearing people say they love Jesus, but can’t stand “organized religion” or the “institution” of the church. God’s people cannot be separated from “The Church.”
The Church is the Bride of Christ. As such She is to be loved unconditionally… warts and all. The Body of Christ (The Church) is being conformed to the image of Christ. God is chiseling away the all the imperfections of bitterness, selfishness, anger, hurt, and a thousand other things His Bride falls short on. The Spirit are slowly working to rid those who are saved of their ungodliness. Christians are not perfect… they make mistakes… they all have warts. Now consider…
That means we are to deal gently with the sheep… church members… our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to be patient with each other… gracious… merciful… and forgiving because God in Christ has forgiven us of much greater sin against Him than can ever be committed against us. Not only that, remember Jesus said, “As you’ve done it to the least of these you’ve done it to ME.” Then when Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, He asked… “Saul, Saul… why are you persecuting ME?”
That means how we treat others… especially Christians… with our words and attitude, is how we are treating Jesus. And Jesus is very protective of His Bride. He will not stand by and let His Bride be abused, maligned, or denegrated by anyone!
There are well intentioned dragons who sit in the pews. People in church, by and large, are doing the best they know how… and yet they still make mistakes. There are Deacons, Elders, Ministers, and church members who do and say the wrong thing… wound others deeply… and don’t realize it for a long time. Jesus is working to change them so as to make them more like Himself. That’s why we are to deal gently with the sheep. After all… if we ask God to judge the rebellious… we’d better not have any plans for the next minute because He rightly would begin with US!
Conclusion: No… the Church isn’t perfect YET. But the Church is the Bride of Christ none the less. Those who are in the church (As far as we can know) ARE Jesus’ sheep. So, regardless of how the sheep act, we are to deal gently with them.