It has become rather fashionable these days for Christians to hate on the church. Almost every day, a new book is put out by someone who is disolutioned with, has a lengthy critique of, and has a new solution for the church. But I wonder if it is spiritually and intellectually easy, and I dare say, lazy, to hate on “the evangelical church.”
When I first started writing, I succumbed to this crutch. I would find a really meaty Biblical principle and in the course of constructing my devotional or article, would add the line, “most Christians” or “most churches,” as if I, in my limited experience with other churches, had a good grasp of the evangelical church as a whole.
The truth is that heaping scorn on “the church” or “most Christians,” is easy and it is a nice cover for our own failures. And it is true that there are problems in the Church of God. The Church is far from perfect and always needs introspection and change. But the Church is also Christ’s bride. Christ loves the church.
Imagine how I’d feel if someone told me they really like me, but strongly dislike my wife. Well. I’m not a very confrontational guy, but you attack my wife and I can get pretty angry. Imagine how Christ feels.
Its also a convenient escape from the change and growth God wants to do in us, personally. When I’m reading Scripture and applying lessons to “the church” or “most Christians who don’t . . . ” or even “the culture,” then I’m saying that I’ve got everything figured out. You see? I’m not applying Scripture to me, Dan Darling. I’m applying it to other people. Oh, I’m good at that. Great at that. I can give you seventeen bullet-points of where the church, most Christians, and the culture is doing astray.
But in my life, God is most concerned with me, my growth, my sanctification, my development, my repentance, my outworking of the fruits of the spirit.
So, if we want to keep avoiding the obvious work of growth in our hearts, keep hating on the Church. But if you desire genuine transformation, let’s start reading the Scripture back to ourselves, with the attitude of Paul, who said, “I am the chief of sinners.” I’m the problem and nobody else.