The elements of what makes a thing to be what it is can’t be compromised. Bread without yeast becomes matzoh. Oceans without water become very long, very dry valleys of sand. Marriages without love become a version of Hell.
A church with a missing ingredient becomes a social club.
The ingredients of a church might not be what you think. You can have a church without pews, without a pulpit, without a preacher, without a doctrinal creed. But all too often, what’s really essential is left out. You can’t have a church without people, and you can’t have a real church without Jesus.
The synergistic relationship between Jesus and His people is what produces a church. Don’t confuse the product with the producer. Buildings with steeples, with or without musical instruments, with pews, even with people are not what God wants for a church unless Jesus is the Main Ingredient.
Likewise, the main ingredient for life is not good health and a strong body, a good education, good personality or good connections. Human nature by itself corrupts and corrodes anything about us that is good. The main ingredient, which is the antidote to human nature, is Jesus. He prepares, promotes, and preserves us. He promises us eternal life.
Nowadays, polite society wants to erase the Name of Jesus as though His Name were some kind of public obscenity. But they’ll never erase Jesus because He is our ground of being, our basis of reality, and the One Who gives life—not only that, He’s the One Who gives our life meaning.