BABINC Homepage Articles & Books Andy's Index

An Enigma* Called the Church
Andy Bustanoby
(C) January 8, 2005

     If you knew me, you would think it strange that I should call the
     church an enigma--baffling.  I've been a born again Christian for
     fifty-seven years, a pastor for thirteen years, a "Christian
     counselor" and author for twenty-five years.  All this, and I call
     the church an enigma?

     Well, yes.  But I think there's justification for this.  I've been
     studying Ephesians for a forthcoming Sunday school class I'll be
     teaching, and I came across a statement that really stirred my

     The Apostle Paul writing about the unveiling of the "mystery" called
     the church and God's purpose for it, says, "His intent was that now,
     through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known
     to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms . . ." (Eph.
     3:10 NIV).

     Paul certainly is speaking of the church universal, the body of
     Christ.  But, given the fact that he is writing to the church
     located in the ancient city of Ephesus, he must also have in mind
     the local church.

     I have no difficulty seeing God make known His manifold wisdom
     through the body of Christ.  I have had some amazing experiences in
     this information age making meaningful contacts with believers over
     the Internet.  But, having observed the local church scene for more
     than half a century, I was, yes, baffled by the statement that God
     intends to make known His manifold wisdom through the local church,
     a visible part of the body of Christ.

     My imagination began spinning. I see Michael, the archangel,
     whispering into the ear of Gabriel, the angelic messenger to Daniel,
     "Have you seen what's going on down there in the Church of the
     Revolving Door?  Things certainly are a mess."

     Gabriel replies, "Yes, I have."  He then smiles and says, "I know
     that our God will pull this one out of the fire, and I can't wait to
     see how He does it!"

     Michael frowns.  "And suppose He doesn't?"

     Gabriel replies, "What do you mean?"

     "Remember Job?   Do you remember what that was all about?"


     "That whole event can be summed up in one sentence:  "God knows what
     He's doing, and He doesn't need our advice."

     "What are you saying, Michael?"

     "I'm saying that God may not pull this out of the fire now, or any
     time soon.  In fact, He may wait for the Rapture and the start of
     classes in The University of Heaven to teach us something more about
     Himself and His wisdom.  After all, Gabriel, it's going to take an
     eternity to understand the wisdom of an infinite God.  Do you plan
     to sit in on the lectures?"

     Gabriel paused for a long time and finally said, "I remember reading
     somewhere some old guy calling the church 'an enigma.'  Maybe I'll
     have to wait for classes to start before I get my answer."

     * Enigma - a puzzling or inexplicable person, occurrence, or
     situation.  A riddle.

                                    # # #

Click here to email andy

Return to Top