The Church Without _______

Shawn McEvoy
Shawn McEvoy
2013 14 May

Saw a bumper sticker on the morning commute that read: 

"The Church without Christ is where the blind don't see, the lame don't walk, and what's dead remains that way."

I'm generally not a big fan of bumper stickers, of advertising platitudinous tweets or angry opinions with my vehicle. But this one caught my attention because I had just spent the previous day at work mulling over the Trinity, mostly because I had just posted this video on our site: Does the Bible actually teach the doctrine of the Trinity? - Sam Allberry from christianitydotcom2 on GodTube.

And so I wondered why the creator of this bumper sticker hadn't said, "The Church without the Holy Spirit...", because after all, Christ himself didn't remain physically with us in the church, he left us with the Spirit.

Semantics. I fully understood the point. Without Christ as the focus, any church, "the" Church, is left uselessly lame, hopelessly blind, and pathetically dead.

But how would the bumper sticker have read if the word "Christ" had been substituted with either of the other members of the Godhead, or with other words?

Maybe something like...

"The Church without God is where the building improves while the hearts crumble, where behavior supercedes grace, and the right kind of members make us forget our mission."

In other words, worshipping God is what keeps us from becoming our own little gods.

What about...

"The Church without the Holy Spirit is where the fire grows cold, the air is foul, and 'living water' is just a nice story."

The Spirit is like a mighty wind. Jesus promised he would fill us with an outpouring of water. Where God is active in the Bible, you find fire. These elemental essences of the Trinity are what move our bodies of earth and clay to holy action.

These are just off the top of my head, but I'll spend most of the rest of today mulling about other fill-in-the-blanks such as...

The Church without You is where _________________

The Church without Love is where _________________

The Church without Outreach is where _______________

The Church without Money is where _________________

The Church without America is where ________________

The Church without Enmity is where ________________