"But we shouldn't worship the church. We worship Jesus."
I have heard this sentiment a few times and once as a direct quote when discussing shortcomings of the church and what the church should be doing, in the context of what type of church I'd like to attend. While it is no doubt true that many people place far too much emphasis on the church - or their own church - this response I believe reveals how some people think about the church.
If I wish for the day when I can attend a church where there is fellowship like in the bible, and the church practices the one-anothers like in the bible, and when I'm down in life people in the church will help me (and vice versa) like in the bible, and where we have real meals together like in the bible, why would somebody think this is me worshipping the church? There is such an emphasis on not having others connected to you at the same time as there is such an emphasis on relying totally on Jesus, I have to ask a question. Is the Jesus that I am being shown by the churches I have attended a Jesus that is a disembodied head?
The bible shows us that we are all connected together, by joints and ligaments and that we are all members of one another. We are the body of Christ, so we are actually part of Jesus. Saul persecuted Jesus himself by persecuting the church, and Jesus will judge based on what we do to the least of these, since we're actually doing those things to Jesus himself. When I am taught to rely solely upon Jesus for everything, I am being presented with a disembodied head, the only thing to which I am connected, rather than an entire body of which I am a part.