Don’t Call Jesus a “Bro” And His Wife a “Ho”

Have you ever gone up to your best friend and exclaimed like a badge of honor, “Bro, I love you, but I hate your wife”?

Jesus and His bride

You haven’t?

Have you done that with God?

A common lament I hear among the church hoppers/professional critics/super spiritual/doctrinal police is that the modern church is virtually anathema. That all her compromising weaknesses are too much to overcome. That Joel Osteen/Rick Warren/Oprah/Seeker sensitivism/Legalism/Liberalism/Prosperity Gospel has permeated and made the church so laughably ridiculously vacuous that she is irrecoverable in her modern expression.

To many, the modern church is so steeped in spiritual adultery that she should be cast off like a burning bath robe.

Some of this stripe may claim with sweeping certainty, “I love God, but I can’t stand the church.”

Like we have to start completely over in our living room with an elite group of prayer warrior soldiers on fire like us.

Like our authenticity is the savior of the church.

Like we’re the only disciples of Jesus who have read Acts 2.

Now I make no qualms about this: Not every fledgling expression of the “institutional” church is a pure expression of His chosen bride. Heresy is a real scourge. The way is narrow.

But we need to be careful when talking about a man’s wife. Especially when that man happens to be the holy Creator of the Universe. So many times we’re not building walls around a pure gospel message, but around our pet preferences.

He has made a bride spotless with the blood of His own dear Son (Ephesians 5:25-32). She is precious to Him. He loves her not because she is lovable but because He is love. She is advancing and tearing down enemy gates in ways we haven’t yet imagined (Matthew 16:18-20). Somewhere along the line, it became customary to gleefully cast the first, second, and third stones at this sad bride in the name of orthodoxy, or stranger…grace.

And He delights to make His love known not through solo efforts of proud heroism, but through a humble serving community. An assembly. An ekklesia. Fellow “called out” ones uniting under one purpose.

His church bride.

The fact that she is hurting, stumbling, sick, scandal ridden, confused and weak should make our heart break for her all the more. The fact that she is full of hypocrites like us should give us resolve to live and speak grace towards her all the more.

There are already a million expressions, denominational or otherwise, that appeal to the great diversity of this bride. Historically, the blood of countless men and women have been spilled out all over this dress, making it whiter for her Wedding Day. We needn’t assume that we can doll her up right with our rogue passions, that our isolated faithfulness is the key that unlocks the Banquet door.

He made a bride.

He made that bride to be a community.

She’s not perfect.

He makes her perfect.

Be careful:

Don’t tell me you’re my boy and then talk smack about my wife.

If you love Him, you will love His church.

Bryan Daniels


Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

23 thoughts on “Don’t Call Jesus a “Bro” And His Wife a “Ho””

  1. Well said. Especially, the pure bride, the Church which is the Body of Christ from across the world. Unfortunately, not all church goers are part of the Body of Christ, but my prayer is that those will eventually be saved and instead of being church goers they will become THE Church.

  2. I wish you had a “like” button. I can’t let you know I liked it without leaving a comment.

    I love this, though. I have long been very protective of The Church. Jesus loves her, I love Jesus, therefore, I must love her, too. Especially since I’m part of her!

  3. We step into a narrative much bigger than our own life story when we become participants with His bride. “Great is the mystery…” and great our need to go before Him in these things armed with humility and confidence in Him…

    Thank you

  4. Sometimes I think that the frustrations I have with “some” people in a “particular” congregation apply to the whole church. They don’t. And while I am at it, I am certain that there are people who are frustrated with my part of the body from time to time. One person, one congregation is not THE CHURCH. We do well to remember that. And that CHURCH is still doing amazing things in spite of us. That is what is so amazing about our Lord. He redeems even the work that we do….. Now that’s grace.

  5. An observation from my friends from Russia, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria, and other Orthodox Christian lands….the saying goes something like:
    “In America you renew the church. In Russia the Church renews you.”

    In Orthodox Christian circles, the language is more typically about what participation in the Church does to you and rarely if ever does anyone speak about having to positively change anything about the Church.

    Similarly, here in the USA, when you give money to a beggar on the street, I have found it common to think I the giver am the blessed one and to say something like, “I will pray for you”. But in the East the tradition is opposite….for the rich to seek out the poor, and ask him to “pray for me a sinner”.”

  6. Some people won’t like reading what you wrote but I agree with everything you said. What many folks don’t get is that the early church is comprised of human beings — all of us sinful — whose first instinct is to point out flaws without praying about the issues. I think this is just part of our “if I don’t agree with things, let’s just get a divorce” mentality that is so rampant today.

    Thank you, Bryan, for sharing this important issue with us!

  7. Nice, Bryan!
    I especially liked, “So many times we’re not building walls around a pure gospel message, but around our pet preferences.”
    You said it!

  8. Though we should never say we don’t like Christ’s Bride, which is saying we don’t like parts of His Body, which we are members of, let’s not go too far the other way and love her into hell by keeping silent in the face of their practicing biblical errors. I would never question an Osteen or Oprah follower’s salvation, but I do have to speak up out of love for him or her when I know that they are believing errors as truth. I would hope my brothers and sisters would do the same for me when I am in error. Let the righteous strike me-it will be a kindness!

  9. Excellent! I agree and appreciate your expression of the message. It’s not easy to stay with a body you find yourself at odds with but that is what we are supposed to do! If we are the Light and we leave, that body will get darker. God leads us to places like that to be the intercessors, to present the truth in love, to example living out the Word in its fullness…to be Jesus…wherever we are. Revival starts in the church. Great post.

  10. When I look at the Universal Church with its babel of doctrines and theories, rules and regulations, I see a veil, and under the veil of the flesh of man, Jesus is preparing and building His church of people who hold fast to Him, abide in His love, and humbly do His will day by day. No names, titles, labels, nothing. Just humble servants, lovers of His soul as He is the lover of our souls. And when the time is right, the fleshly veil will be lifted, and His bride will be revealed, made of living stones from across the ages, glorious, knit together in love, radiant with His righteousness and holiness. What we see and call ‘church’ is only the fleshly veil. God sees something we cant even begin to see. It is so beyond our understanding. May God grant us the eyes to see Jesus’ bride as He sees her, and to love her as He loves her. Thanks for your post! Shalom!

  11. No Doubt…! “church hoppers/professional critics/super spiritual/doctrinal police” got me laughing like a maniac….so true bro!!

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