You Can’t Love Christ and Despise His Bride

~ Viola

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this, “I love Jesus, but I can’t stand the church.”

To my utter amazement, a handful of people who tout this phrase have benightedly assumed that I support this sentiment. Since I’m globally known as one of the strongest champions of the ekklesia – even making it central to God’s Eternal Purpose – I can only assume that those who’ve mistakenly connected me with this sentiment have never read my work.

Either that, or they read bits and pieces of my 9-year old book with George Barna, Pagan Christianity, and missed the entire point nor ever read the constructive sequels.

So I hope this short piece clears the fog around this matter.

Let me state it bluntly: It’s simply impossible to love Jesus Christ and hate His bride—the ekklesia.

But that statement needs to be nuanced. Consider the following points:

Point 1: It’s a profound mistake to assume that the term “church” as it’s used today and “the ekklesia” is always the same thing. Jesus Christ died for the ekklesia. The ekklesia is His bride, His body, His house, and His family. But the ekklesia isn’t a building. Nor is it a worship service that people attend two hours on Sunday. Neither is it a human-made organization.

According to the New Testament, the ekklesia is the collective people of God, the community of the king, and the beloved bride of our Lord. And Jesus Christ is fully united with her. Therefore, you can’t love Him and hate her. (Those of you who have read From Eternity to Here, Magnificent Obsession, and Reimagining Church are clear on all this. So this isn’t news. But it’s monumentally difficult for some Christians to grasp.)

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