...the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.1 Timothy 3:15b
Paul describes the role of the church in two dramatic words: the church is the
pillar and the
foundation of the truth. The great reason for the existence of the church is to introduce truth back into a world saturated with error and fantasy, a world that follows will-o'-the-wisp ideas that are paraded and exalted as though they were the acme of knowledge and wisdom. We live in a confused world, and it is getting more confused all the time. In fact, if you are not confused, it is because you are not thinking clearly! The church is called upon increasingly to speak the truth in the midst of that confusion, to point out that the emperor does not have any clothes on, and to speak things that everybody thinks are heresy and radicalism because they are so different from the confusion of the society around us.
The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. You all know what a pillar is. The ancient temples had great pillars, several feet thick, supporting them. That is the idea: the church is the support of the truth. The uniqueness of the church is that God has made it to be the dispenser of the missing secrets that make human life function as God intended it.
These secrets are never found in secular authorities and writings. That is why every age makes the same mistakes, and every age repeats the same pattern. The world looks like it is going to go somewhere, but it always ends up wrestling with the same terrible problems, generation after generation, world without end. The church is called to shed light on that confusion, to teach people who we humans are and what our relationship with the living God is.
Everywhere, on every side, you find people hungry for this. The cry of the world is,
Who am I?
I need to find myself. It is to answer that poignant cry that the church has been sent into the world. The church is to tell us who we are and what God has created us to do. The church is the pillar and the foundation, the support, the defense, the bulwark, and the buttress of truth. The church recovers truth when it is lost. That is why all moral recovery in a nation always begins with the church, with the people of God. Any hope that we in this country will ever recover from this downhill slide into degradation and despair lies in the presence of the church in our midst.
So the church is
the pillar and foundation of the truth. The apostle Paul understood that. He knew that the church was sent into the world to make a difference.
God grant that I may learn again who I am and what, under God, I can do as a part of Your church.
When the church fails to lovingly speak truth to bring light, the foundations of society crumble. Do our lives illumine the life of Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life?