“The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother.” —Cyprian, Treatise on the Unity of the Church, 6.
I was 28 when I became the pastor of Highland Village First Baptist Church (now known as The Village Church). I had had a rough go early on in my church experience, and at that time, I was not fully out of my “disenchanted with the local church” phase.