Church: A Family, Not A Club



When Jesus said, “You have read…, but I tell you…”, I think he was showing the ineffectiveness of rule-keeping as a basis for social interaction in community. Christian faith is not, first of all, a set of rules to obey; it is a relationship to experience and nurture—first with God, then with each other.

We impose rules and monitor adherence to those rules in contexts that lack meaningful relationships as their foundation. For example, we need rules for driving on the road; we don’t need rules, generally speaking, for living life together as a family. We need rules to maintain order in a club. We should not need rules to foster community in a church.

...not this.

…not this.

We will read the Bible differently depending on how we perceive the nature of the church. That is, if we start from the assumption that we are a family, then it is relationship that guides our interpretation of the “rules.” If we begin with the “rules,” we regard church as a club and have pretty much excluded the possibility of cultivating loving and meaningful relationships.


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