- Author:Steve McCranie
- Title:Love Jesus, Hate Church: How to Survive in Church or Die Trying
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Some of you are probably wondering what a book titled, Love Jesus, Hate Church, is all about. Ah, I can hear your questions now: What's the point? What are you trying to say? Where are you going with this? How can you Love Jesus and Hate Church? Aren't they the same thing? Hey, your concerns are understandable. First, I understand some of you are probably already a bit put off by the title of this book— maybe even a little offended. I'm also keenly aware of the fact that using the words Love and Jesus and Hate and Church all in the same sentence seem contradictory. It feels sacrilegious. Unholy. Somehow just plain wrong. What Do You Mean When You Say, Church? But understand, Love Jesus, Hate Church is not talking about the true church, the "called-out ones" Scripture so proudly refers to as "men and women the world was not worthy of." But the church of our own creation, the church created in our own image— our own Frankenstein. We're talking about the man-made institution we call church. You know, the social organization whose steepled buildings dot the landscape of our communities. The club, the structure, the established entity we vainly try to infuse artificial life into each week with our hyped-up praise music, our social programs disguised as ministry, and the self-affirming, feel-good speeches we attempt to pass off as Spirit-empowered sermons. Or, as those of us who "bear on our bodies the Love Jesus, Hate Church battle scars" like to call it— the Well-Oiled Machine. What is the Purpose of Love Jesus, Hate Church? The purpose of Love Jesus, Hate Church is not in any way to slam, malign, tear down or "dis" the church. Nor is this book designed to simply point out the obvious faults, systemic shortcomings or the inherent hypocrisy that has plagued the institution of the church for the last millennium and a half. No, the purpose of Love Jesus, Hate Church is actually quite the opposite. The goal of Love Jesus, Hate Church is to present the church in the breathtaking splendor the Lord intended— as the spotless, chaste, virgin bride of Christ. It's to show the church, as Paul so clearly pointed out in Ephesians 3, as the eternal vessel of Christ’s glory on earth. Consider the praise of the Apostle Paul: Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. The problem we face, however, is the visible church— that which we see, attend, claim membership in and have known all our lives, is a far cry from the true church revealed in Scripture. It's literally light years from the living entity Jesus promised the very "gates of hell will not prevail against." What we see masquerading as church today is, at best, a dim reflection of the Lord's intention. In fact, the current visible church that seems to dot every other street corner in North America is now so far removed from the example Jesus left us in Scripture, that we might never be able to divorce ourselves from our traditions, and experience the pure bride of Christ in all her fullness. Or, to put it in the perspective of the Lord's promise to us, we frankly may never be able to experience the abundant life He promised. Never! At least not within our current church structures and religious mindsets. So what are we to do? Good question. But we've got a great answer! And Love Jesus, Hate Church explores that very answer.