Today I went to a gathering where Brian McLaren was speaking. For those that may not know who he is, he is an author that is one of several Christian leaders trying to point out the “emerging culture”.
I have read his books, and seen him speak several times. Although much of what he shared today was were things I have heard before, I did appreciate his heart and passion as well as his continual desire to help future church leaders not only take ownership of the poor state of the church but also revel in the possibilities of the future.
As I sat there listening to Brian speak today my thoughts bounced back and forth in my head like a hummingbird on speed. Me personally, I am grateful that I am at a church that is honest, passionate, and longs to serve the people around them. I thank God that I am at a church that is willing to not only talk, but do. Yet as I continue to live in Southern California I am continually reminded at how much the church as a whole has destroyed the image of Christ. Harsh words? Maybe.
I know…I know…it’s not the church…it’s the Christians…and it’s not all Christians, its just some of them…blah blah blah. Look, I am OK with Christians making mistakes…we are after all human…and I know that every one of us is flawed so perfection exist only in Christ himself…however it is in the lack of ownership of said mistakes where my issue rests. And since Christians represent the church…by default the church has destroyed the image of Christ. I know that generally most people in churches all across the world have the best of intentions….but as wise men have said…”the road to hell is paved with great intentions.”
Rather than debate the semantics of the above statement (which I know many out there in cyber land would love to do) I ask three questions…which are of course my food for thought.
1. Why do people hate or fear the church? (and please for the love of everything good and holy do not say because of Jesus…do not pin this on Him)
2. How can we honor the dissonance that exists within the current changing landscape of the world, while at the same time helping direct the future?
3. Are we honest?
Let me make one thing clear…regardless of my frustrations…I believe in the church. I think although a bit dirty…she is beautiful. I believe in Christ followers who although zealous tend to miss the point sometimes (and I include myself in that estimation)…however, where once Jesus caused a revolution, the revolutionaries have all but vanished…they have become myth or boiled down to high ideals that fall to the way side as we continue to do the thing we know best…divide and conquer…to which I am pretty sure is not what Jesus had in mind.
A revolution is coming…at least I hope.