There have been so many times that I have heard people say they were "burned by the church." Many of those people eventually left the church and abandoned their faith with the blame all on "the church". Today I was running and thinking (as usual) and reflecting on something that a guy named Levi Lusko said in one of his messages. He was speaking about how our lives are either a good reflection of the original (being Christ) or a bad reflection. I have blogged about this before in my "high fi vs. lo fi " blog. I found myself unwinding that thought even further and came to the conclusion that the church, whether an actual church in your city that you attend or the church as the entire body of christians in the world or the church as in a christian friend you know, is only a reflection of the original. Now I know this thought is not original but I was hoping I could maybe give a visual for it to help it sink in a little better. There is a little song by a band named U2 called "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." Now this song/band may not be your cup of tea but imagine with me that it is one of your all time favorite songs (like it is mine). Now imagine that you are in the studio where they recorded it and are listening to it for the first time on some big amazing studio speakers. It would sound amazing. Those guitar parts would be clear. The bass would be beating in your chest. Bono's "going for it" vocal would feel like he was singing it right there in front of you. It would probably sound nearest to the real deal. Now imagine you are in your great great granny's Ford Pinto with only AM radio and a tiny speaker buried under the kleenex box in the back . On comes the U2 song and ugh! It sounds terrible. Wasn't there bass in that track? Why do the drums sound like they were played on the kleenex box? Now what if we blamed the quality of the band on granny's speakers? U2 is the same great band whether we hear their music on $5000 studio speakers or in our ipod earbuds. Nothing about the band changes. So why would we blame and turn away from Christ based on the speakers we hear his message through. If you think that something is wrong or amiss about your church then find a new church but don't think that the original is wrong or amiss. And when you decide that because you were burned by the church you will create your own "spiritual journey" remember you are a speaker for what you are preaching. You the liar, you the hypocrite, you the backstabber, you the gossiper, you the cheater, you the imperfect. In fact you are just like that church who burned you. You are a sinner. You are an imperfect speaker. So, learn about who Christ is and what He teaches. Find a church that helps you do this. Dig deep because the more you know about Him the better the reflection and sound you will be for those listening around you.