First there was the Southern Baptist Convention Annual meeting and the ensuing condemnation of the Boy Scouts and their decision to allow gay scout leaders.
Because my role model and guide is Jesus Christ I have to stop and wonder if Jesus and His disciples would have met together and decided to issue an edict condemning one of the many sins of His day. Would they have contracted runners and messengers to spread the proclamation to all corners of Israel? “Hear ye, Hear ye, Jesus does not like what you are doing, please stop at once!”
Does that sound like the way Jesus operated while He was on this earth? Can you really see Him doing such a thing? Somehow I think He would have been far more compassionate and far more direct. He seemed to favor compassionate honesty that got right to the heart of the matter (man’s relationship with his Heavenly Father) over anything else and so should we.
More recently, Rachel Held Evans wrote a piece for CNN about why Millennials are leaving the church. It is a thought provoking piece and it does raise some questions that need to be answered. In response, people from all kinds of belief systems are chiming in from all over the internet with all kinds of answers.
I have to wonder, however, if in both cases if we aren’t asking the wrong question.
What good is it to condemn the behavior of the lost and the searching or to ask why people have become disillusioned with the church before we ask where their heart stands in relation to Jesus Christ? I strongly suspect that once you have answered the latter you will have the answer to the former. (Please note that I am not denying that problems exist within our churches that drive people away or that churches should minister to people right where they are without prejudice, because both are true!)
The problems facing mankind today may be different than the problems faced in Jesus’ day but the underlying cause remains the same. Whenever “self” is glorified over God and whenever man’s will is chosen before God’s will, sin occurs. And sin always has consequences.
Two profound C.S. Lewis quotes apply here; “We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin” and “Every uncorrected error and unrepented sin is, in its own right, a fountain of fresh error and fresh sin flowing on to the end of time”. C.S. Lewis knew that sin has grave consequences and that a life lived apart from the redeeming power of Jesus Christ is one of continual error and sin.
Viewed in that light it is not so hard to understand why we are dealing with some of the problems that we now face, both in our churches and in the world around us.
With that in mind we need to start asking the right questions. “Have you heard the gospel?” “Have you committed your life to Jesus Christ?” “Are you living every day unto your Maker and Creator?” And my favorite one, “Does your life bring glory to God?”
These are the right questions. Once we as believers recommit ourselves to asking these questions and to continually pointing the way to Jesus Christ both with our lives and our words then, and only then, will we see our world changed for the better through the power of God.
Please feel free to comment if you feel lead. I would love to hear from you!