Saturday, February 14, 2009
Slagging on the Church
Over at CT there is an article by Mark Galli on Pastors as Lovers [of the Church]. He notes the cynicism and sarcasm that many speakers of the National Pastors Convention had for the church. I think frustration and anger at trying to turn things around in a church and not being able to, can really suck the joy and wind out of some people. I once asked a pastor friend of mine what was the best thing about ministry. He said, "Christians!" I then asked him what was the worst thing about ministry. He said, "Christians!". Anyone who had know the frustrations of ministry can relate to that.
I'm more than willing to critique the excesses and errors of the Church (be it Western, American, Asian, African, Anglican, Baptist, or The Royal Society of Red-head Exegetical Ninja Storm Troopers of the Sacred Covenant of Holy Doctrine), but there is a danger that the rhetoric of our criticisms become excessive simply in order to validate our egos, propitiate our hurt, and parade our own vision for how it should be. For instance, imagine you went up to your best friend's fiance and called her a "a lazy, stupid, whore". No matter what she had done wrong, your best friend is probably gonna be pretty ticked off at you. What's that mean? Well, the Church is the Bride of Christ, hardly sinless and not yet perfect by any stretch, but remember, when you slag her off, you're insulting Jesus' fiance. Keep that in mind next time any of us say, "The Church is so ...".