Dug Down Deep (Joshua Harris) – Quote

11 May 2010

Christopher J Wiles

pastor | writer | speaker

Joshua Harris’ latest book Dug Down Deep is worth the hype.  The following is a quote from one of the later chapters:

For the first two decades of my life, I didn’t give much thought to the “us” aspect of the Christian faith. I viewed faith in a very individualistic way. It was about me and my Jesus. I didn’t consider Christianity’s corporate or group nature.

Of course I went to church. That’s what Christians do – we have meetings. But it was just tradition. It was a habit like sleeping, breathing, and all the other things we can do without thinking. In my more cynical moments, I viewed church suspiciously, as a way for pastors to give themselves jobs and exert power. But, really, I didn’t really give it much thought. So while church attendance played a big part in my life growing up, the church didn’t have much of my heart.

I treated the church like a gas station. Everybody needs a gas station, right? You stop in (usually when you’re in a hurry) to get filled up. You go to the one that’s most convenient for you. You get what you need, then you move on. I stopped by the church for the spiritual fuel that comes from worship, teaching, and relationships with other Christians. But then I hit the road and got back to my own plans – my own destination.

I think that describes a good number of Christians today, and they are abandoning the church. Some drop out completely. Others attend meetings but lack a real commitment and engagement in any one church. This leads to the church-hopping syndrome. …

So why is this happening? If we’re the body of Christ, why are so many body parts not showing up to play their part? No doubt some are burned out or disillusioned by the corruption or poor leadership they’ve seen. Others feel that the church is cumbersome and that there are more effective ways to get things done.

But my guess is that a vast majority of Christians who have lost their vision for the church are like I was: they’ve never taken the time to study what the Bible says about God’s purpose and plan for the church. Instead, they’re living their lives guided by feelings or experience. They’re pragmatic, so they’re focused more on what “works” than on what Scripture dictates. They’re consumers who approach church asking, “What’s in it for me?”

But what if we saw that the church is more than a human program, more than what we disparagingly refer to as organized religion? What if we saw that it originated in the heart and mind of God himself and that his plan began before the dawn of human history and stretches into eternity? What if we learned that the church was so precious to Jesus that he was willing to shed his own blood to obtain it? What if the church is the means by which God has chosen to accomplish his purpose for us and for the world? And what if it is irreplacable?

If we could see this, then we’d realize that rejecting the church is rejecting God himself.

(Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep, p. 198-9)

11 May 2010

Christopher J Wiles

pastor | writer | speaker

Chris is a writer and speaker. He currently serves as teaching pastor at Tri-State Fellowship and as a research writer for Docent Research Group.

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