One either has to be with the Lord or not. I’m growing tired of these garden-variety, “discount” so-called Christians so weak in their faith and withering under the temptations of the world and attacks of the enemy that they cave in and start to envision a Christianity with Christ but without Christian requirements and Christ does require a certain discipline. Today I read a post by a Christian equating God with the Platonic abstract, impersonal CONCEPT of love. God is not love the concept, but loving, as in love the AGENCY. Love in relationship, love in action, and that action involves a way, we believe THE way, acting set out in a DISCIPLINE. That means you can have no complete manifestation of Christ’ progressive sanctification process in your life without the daily, living nourishment of scripture. While you do not worship any text and of itself it cannot save you, it provides a guide for reproof and correction and as a living Word is a vehicle by which God speaks to and encourages your spirit. There is no Christ without the Church either, which He says He loves (you have to love what He loves) and for which He died and I do not mean here a particular denomination or building, but we cannot forsake the assembly of believers gathered in His name. God uses it to confirm, augment, and strengthen our collective faith in our prayer, study, and worship TOGETHER. There is No Christ without pastors. Yes I said it. The Lord calls clergy to guide and assist in our walk and gives them an authority and power and sets up a clerical order we should follow as long as it is faithful to Him and His discipline. Now there is nothing wrong with constructively critiquing and seeking to improve and better understand and use all these “disciplinary institutions.”, We certainly should not and must not simply bow down to any of them, but we don’t get to discard them. Scripture, pastoral guidance, and church are part of the faith. Too many Christians at this time of intense attack, rather than polishing the elements of their “whole armor”, or thinking of new and better ways to use it are thinking they can walk out naked with nothing but the name of the Lord. He warns about those who claim to follow him saying “Lord! Lord!” and yet do not obey His discipline. Christ “light” is not an antidote for “heavy” trials, tribulations, and temptations.
God IS loving, but He is also JUST as in standing against sin and punishing wickedness and this process of telling only half the story is a Eurocentric device that allows some to believe the heresy that God’s gift of grace gives us an inalienable right as Christians to sin and be complicit with the world, disregarding our servant obligations, our reasonable sacrifice in the face of said grace.
God IS loving. He demonstrated His love by sending Christ to sacrifice for love BY loving and teaching a discipline concerning HOW to love, God first and then others. Critical to the love of us for God was and is obedience to God’s will for service to Him and to others. Walking around saying in platitudes, “God is love”, while attacking the institutions of God’s love and the need to engage them is at best self-deception, at worse a trick of the evil one.