Follow my logic:
- If we love God and are like him, we will adopt his general priorities (John 15:10)
- God loves the church and it is His primary vehicle for His work until Jesus returns (Ephesians 5:25-27)
- Those who do not love the church do not love God
I believe this line of Biblical reasoning, and so does Derek Thomas of Reformation 21. I love this quote from his article Falling in Love with the Church — again:
Something is terribly wrong when professing Christians do not identify with the church and love being a part of her.
I have long contended that you CAN be a Christian and not be part of a church, but you can not really be a MATURE Christian without it, because a mature Christian loves what God loves, and God loves the Church and is using it to bring his gospel and love to the earth, no matter how imperfectly. Fulfilling the Great Commission through the Church is the primary work of God until Jesus returns, and we need to fit our gifts and passion and story into God’s.