The blogosphere is getting pretty rife with posts about how the church is inept in method or impure in motive on just about everything, from good works to evangelism to preaching to leadership to cultural relevance. It appears that we (the church) have a skewed perspective of the past, we are doing practically nothing now (at least nothing right), and we have a doomed future. We have no clue how to reach millennials or keep converts (not that anyone’s winning anyone). We’re losing our young people. We’re full of hypocrites. We have no vision or it’s the wrong vision. We’re at once too legalistic while too soft on sin and uncommitted in discipleship.
Do such posts draw an elevated number of hits or similar attention? Do they gratuitously spark or provoke strong emotions from readers? Do they make good tabloid journalism?
The church faces enormous challenges that require greater service, dedication, faithfulness, and sacrifice. Being full of sinners, we’re imperfect and have plenty of room for improvement. I guess my question is what the objective of this “Negative Nelly” approach is. To better motivate and encourage growth? Or is it to beat down, create guilt, or demonstrate some sort of superiority by the “pundit”? Is it a spiritual approach or does it look more like the world than we might like to admit? May we never be like the ostrich, head buried in the sand and ignorant of reality around us. Yet, as Christians, may we exemplify a joy and positivity borne of following Jesus.
Because of sin, things have always been bleak–including when He walked the earth. Yet, rather than lament a falling sky, He came to make a positive difference in this world. His followers’ writings were rich with words like “hope,” “grace,” “heaven,” “faith,” “unity,” “forgiveness,” and “peace.”
What if we made more suggestions and used less sarcasm? What if we concentrated more on our own example and less on everyone else’s errors? What if we balanced our hand-wringing about what’s wrong with the church with hand-raising about what’s right with it? What if?