Las Cucarachas and God’s Brilliant Idea
1 Timothy 3:14-15
These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
I have been in ‘Pastoral Ministry’ for many years and have served in a number of churches. There have been far too many times when I could not get my jacket on for the knives sticking out of my back. There have been times when the loving application of basic Biblical principles have brought kick back riots! There have been times of betrayal, manipulated misunderstanding, and quite frankly, madness. I have seen usurpers take the lead. I have seen pirates take the ship, slaughter the crew and then sail off with their ill-gotten gains in the name of Jesus and all things good, only to then be thoroughly acccepted by the flotilla of other churches they sailed into, even while the blood of the slaughtered still stained the wooden deck of stolen booty. Indeed, I have seen much more and worse besides, and so much so, that as a Pastor I have come to the conclusion that the church is the worst idea that God ever had! I mean, just what was He thinking!
Of course, I am wrong about this. How could a good God ever have had a bad idea? I have to further conclude then, that His real church and the reality of that called out and gathered people just cannot be the mess of the organised expression that we so often see, attend, pay into and proliferate. Yes, the real church of Jesus Christ does exist and is more solid and wonderful than we ever realised and that IS growing. I believe however, that we have to gain the sight to see it and then have the courage to actively live in it.
To function, all organisms must have a skeletal structure. So for sure, all local expressions of the real church will probably have a leadership, constitution, covenants, and statement of faith. Written down or verbally expressed, signified in documents or lived out in life, like it or not, these skeletal expressions to support the organism and give it legs to move in present culture and in battle, WILL exist and I think they should exist. The problem we have with this structure however, and that is where all the problems of our fleshly selfishness will manifest itself, is two-fold.
First, when the skeleton on the inside assumes an outward role, in other words, when the local church’s endoskeleton becomes its exoskeleton, it has in-fact turned into nothing but a cockroach, and like all cockroaches, it will gravitate toward the darkness and feed on the offscourings of the world. Robert Louis Stevenson, in his book Treasure Island, has the character Squire Trelawny saying that ‘it is a virtuous act to stamp on cockroaches.’ It is. Jesus does it all the time. Careful now.
Our second problem in the scurrying cockroach church is that, when the devil rides on the back of it, we do not feel him there. That’s right, when the ‘endo’ becomes the ‘exo’, we seem to lose all spiritual sensibilities and succumb so very easily to being saddled by Satan. No wonder then that we have so many problems.
The Church is God’s most brilliant idea. Redeemed people who love each other, my goodness, what a thing to behold! Blood washed people who with power proclaim the glories of Jesus, how magnificent! Bought people, who through bread and wine, remember His body broken for them and His blood, shed for them. How precious. Bathed people, baptised in water as an outward proclamation of God given and inward purity. What a way to live! Yes friends, the house of God is not a building with a mortgage, it is rather, living stones, obeying Jesus and loving one another, proclaiming the good news of redemption to all the world. The church is God’s best idea, you see, it is the most wonderful of things, it is absolutely beautiful. So tell me, do you see it yet?
It is there you know. It really is. Go find it. Look for the pillars of truth.
Listen:- But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24 NKJV
Pray: - Father, give us eyes to see the realities of Your most brilliant idea, the church of the living God! Jesus, Lord of the church, show us its beauty, show us its magnificence, and reveal to us its pillars of pomegranate capped truth, dripping with alluring loveliness in rich red ripe attraction. Satisfy our longing to experience our spiritual house O God, our one true body in You. Amen.