There is so much talk and discussion about what is wrong with America. I would rather ask what is wrong with the Church? I want to look at the good things a church, a denomination, or some benefactor does or does not do and try to understand why it’s not good enough. Some say the economy is bad, some say it is good. Some say the poor need more food or money and all will be well. The irony is the standard for benevolence seems to be wealth and food which has done nothing to make the rich man righteous. How will sharing this with the poor make him good Perhaps the standard we measure by is faulty. Perhaps it is simply too low. See the Carpenter of Galilee, a mere man, whose words and deeds changed the hearts of a few simple men who in turn changed the way men think, and then the world. This Carpenter said to His chosen few, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and then all these things you need will be added.” He said to them, “Oh you foolish and slow to believe all that was written of me.” He told the religious of His day, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
I wonder if that is not the truth for us today? In the Old Testament book of Haggai, God reprimands His people for not building His house while their homes were built and they were secure and comfortable. I am reminded of the words of Paul to the Church at Ephesus, “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.” I marvel at our attempts to build the Church, His Body, that cannot be built by hands but only by the Holy Spirit, with our platitudes and vain stabs at self righteousness. We think that the heart stained by sin can be cleansed by a better job or more food or a bigger building in which to meet or even a more precise method of worship. Yet we deny the Creator’s design for His Church and substitute things for the One we need most of all. We minimize our sin and thus fail to see the perfection that only exists in Him. We measure ourselves against a myriad of others, when only He has shown what is really good and true. America is not a parcel of land. It is a people. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of America, she was great because she was good. I have not nor has any man who lives formed this world or the universe in which it resides. Only He who has designed and formed it can accurately describe ‘the good‘. Paul in his letter to the Colossians, wrote of Jesus, ‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. My heart sinks when I hear those who would correct any error on earth without the true and only source of ‘the Good’.