Monday, April 18


it's my daughter's 6 month birthday and my 3 year anniversary with my husband today, so this is not the post that you would typically expect for such a day. But today.

Today blair and i went shopping ["horrors!" (to him), "hooray!!" (for me)], and much of our conversation for the day was around the Church. I grew up in a non-denominational church, and I'm well versed in the contemporary explanation for why people are "turned off by the church". Most of that line of thinking is from those who had bad experiences growing up/college years. And I just don't resonate with that experience. There were problems with the churches I attended during my formative years. There are problems with the wonderful church I currently attend. Why? Because the Church is made up of imperfect people, and it will always be work in progress.

If you stroll down the religious isles of a bookstore, you'll see many book titles centered around the idea of "Discover Christ, not the Church", "Revamping Christianity", "Jesus is a relationship, not a religion", etc. The current thread seems to be about changing what's wrong with the Church, the Bible, and what we think Christianity is all about.

And I wonder if all of this talk is really creating a hysteria that doesn't exist. I may be in the minority, but have all christians really had such a "bad experience" with the Church? Or were their feelings hurt, and not resolved? Was there anger, and no reconciliation and forgiveness? Has the Church at large really digressed from Biblical teaching, exiling the search for authenticity and faith in the Word of God? Or have so many people jumped on the bandwagon of the Donald Millers and Rob Bells of the world and assumed, to a disastrous degree, that the church has a bad rap with every non-christian and christian alike? (Thereby extolling the "vices" of the church, creating a pandemic of distaste by furthering the toxic opinion that the church is unhealthy, off the mark, incurable, and "not the way it should be".)

I dislike Rob Bell. I can no longer assume that he is a christian who is incredibly daft and mislead; his own words prove otherwise. He wraps up a nice little token of religion in a box labeled Christ, but without any of the real ingredients. He cannot handle the awesome dichotomy and tension that exists in a God that is both Just and Merciful, Loving and Wrathful. He wants a god that is explainable and palatable. I cannot talk about him for very long before becoming exceedingly angry, so I will make my point: he is one more chink (a loud one, unfortunately) in the long line of leavers who have abandoned or altered the faith because it is not what they want. Because it is difficult to swallow. Because they cannot control it. Because faith actually requires faith- a certainty in things unseen, based upon the authoritative Word of God.

So, back to the current idea that people are disgruntled with the Church --- I think it is possibly due in large proportion to the propaganda of men such as Rob Bell, not to actual experiences in themselves. And I think many a christian has adopted his genre, assuming that "Oh!! People are upset with the Church! We must give them a better opinion." And apologize for her actions, her consequences or offenses, without actually knowing if they are sound or not.

Where is your backbone, O Bride of Christ? Where is your absolute, unfailing confidence in the Word of God? Where is your ability to evaluate the tides of contemporary thoughts, traditions, and theologies? Do we not have the courage to be unpopular for being "intolerant"? Do we think so little of our God, our Christ, the Living and Active Word?

[deep breaths. calming down.] That has been the majority of my thoughts today. I've enjoyed being with my husband, and in all honesty, I have not wanted to have a sad day. I have those everyday. I'm in a blunt mood... a "tell it like I see it" mood, and that can often get me in trouble. I apologize if I've offended.

And now I've said my piece, and I'm off to bed.

1 comment:

  1. Preach it! Beautifully said. It seems we have a common disdain (and that's putting it very lightly) for false teaching.

    Happy Anniversary to you and Blair. Still praying.