Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Married, or just dating? Book review: Why Church Matters by Joshua harris

“Married, or just dating?”
I enjoyed Joshua Harris’ book when it was published several years ago under a different title: Stop Dating the Church. I enjoyed reading it again as Why Church Matters: Discovering Your Place in the Family of God.
Harris invites his readers to look at their relationships with the church in the context of a marriage. Are you married to the church, or do you try to put the church into the category of ‘friends with benefits”?
The author encourages us to become passionate about our relationship with the church, to see it more than something we do on Sunday morning, whether we want to or not. God's plan for the church is something exciting, but unless we fully engage, we miss out on all that it has to offer. It’s the age old dilemma of those who want to claim Jesus as Savior, but refuse to acknowledge Him as LORD. We want to pick and choose, to take the parts that make us feel good, and leave the rest.
Christ calls the church His bride, and in a very real sense when we think of marriage, think of this beautiful person with whom we want to spend the rest of our life, we think in terms of passion, of love, of commitment. Unless there were some ulterior motives, we wouldn’t go into a marriage relationship with the idea that once you get married you’ll spend one hour a week together, and during the time you’ll be bored silly. Yet people want to sign up to be part of the church, the bride of Christ, and go into the relationship with that attitude…
As Christians we have been given access to the most exciting news the world has ever known, it’s up to us to joyfully proclaim that news. Harris in this engaging book offers some suggestions to help us find or reclaim that passion that should be part of our relationship with the Christ and the Church. He invites us to take that next step, to make the commitment, to become as passionate about the church as we are about our hobbies.
There’s a stark warning for church leadership too, if your local church isn’t biblical, if it’s nothing to get passionate about, then people who want to get passionately involved might just move on.
Wondering what’s missing on Sunday morning? This book is for you!

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