I think we would all agree that church is a good thing. Doing life with a body of believers is a blessing, indeed. At the church’s core….Christ-followers can find comradery, encouragement, resources, prayer warriors, teachings, insights, counsel, service, and love. Coming together with other Christians to worship and learn and grow and do – is a beautiful, God-designed thing.
But can church…yes even church…become an idol?
Absolutely. I’m guilty of it myself. It’s easy to do, really. When a church has an excellent praise and worship band – it’s tempting to start idolizing the talents rather than the Talent-Giver. The same can be true for anointed and effective preachers, teachers, and leaders. Even large, fancy, well-built church buildings become the object of our admiration over the One that made it all possible in the first place.
It’s so like Satan to distract and consume and enamor ….even with good, God-given gifts. That’s trickery at it’s best. And we shouldn’t fall for it.
To illustrate – take a look at Revelation.
(Ch.1 v.16) In his (Jesus’) right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
(v.20) As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
I once read a commentary* that pointed out something so interesting about these passages…
If you were seeing this vision as John did – you would see Jesus holding seven stars in His hand. The stars represent the angels of the churches. His face would be shining as bright as the sun. And He would be standing amongst the lampstands. The lampstands represent the churches themselves. If you were seeing this - yes…the seven lampstands would be bright. The seven stars would be even brighter. But compared to the face of Jesus….shining like the sun….the lampstands and stars pale in comparison. The churches and the angels are beautiful…but compared to our Savior shining like the sun…they are but a mere nightlight.
While the brightness that the church gives off illuminates the darkness around it….Let’s not get so impressed with the church that we ignore Jesus.
It’s not about us – it’s all about Him. Let’s make sure our worship sees it as so.
*Guzik, David. "Study Guide for Revelation 1." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006. 2011. 16 Jun 2011.