Monday, October 18, 2010

Nouwen on Believing in the Church

I get a daily email devotional with thoughts from Henri Nouwen taken from his numerous writings. Today's post on "believing in the Church" is good. I heard Greg Boyd (author and pastor at Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul) say once that one of the biggest obstacles to his faith isn't miracles or the resurrection,etc. but the church. The church doesn't always live up to its calling and that has caused him to doubt God. Maybe you can relate.

With that background listen to Nouwen's words on believing in the church.

The Church is an object of faith. In the Apostles' Creed we pray: "I believe in God, the Father ... in Jesus Christ, his only Son - in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting." We must believe in the Church! The Apostles' Creed does not say that the Church is an organization that helps us to believe in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No, we are called to believe in the Church with the same faith we believe in God.

Often it seems harder to believe in the Church than to believe in God. But whenever we separate our belief in God from our belief in the Church, we become unbelievers. God has given us the Church as the place where God becomes God-with-us.

I'm often tempted to give up on church but I feel God continually challenge me saying, "If everyone gives up on the church then it will NEVER be what I called it to be." So I'm all in and I want others to be all in with me. People are waiting for God's church to rise up and BE JESUS to the world. By God's grace it's possible. I'm game. How about you?

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