A Church Afraid of Brokenness
There has been controversy surrounding a large, corporate, mega-church in the news. I first became aware of it upon seeing this tweet in my timeline:
Churches make mistakes & those mistakes can deeply hurt people. It's great to see a church owning up to her mistakes. http://t.co/6HmgKMvJrU
— Luke Norsworthy (@lukenorsworthy) May 29, 2015
Curious, I read a few articles to catch up. If you are not familiar with what has been happening at The Village Church and want to be simply Google “the village church apology” and you too can get caught up. But doing that is not necessary for where this post is going.
So I replies with a tweet of my own (please excuse my typos):
— Scott Perkins (@theperkster) May 29, 2015
It indeed would have been a breath of fresh air to see a church own up to its mistakes before they became a national issue.
But that seems to be the business-like environment prominent in our church culture.
Jesus is the product to be sold. In order to show the product works, there needs to be more and more ‘fixed’ people.
This in turn creates a church that does not know what to do with the reality of brokenness.
We are broken image bearers of our Creator. While we are being sanctified in Christ our old nature and new nature do battle (see Gal 5:17).
One of our most beloved hymns declares this truth…
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
When the church does not understand that the spiritual life will have steps forward and steps back, the result is…
A community that lacks grace. Weakness means you are not following Jesus properly.
A leadership that lacks humility. Unable to acknowledge their own weakness.
Spiritual lives measured by performance.
Forgiveness that is conditional.
Followers that become disillusioned. Either by the fact that following Jesus is ‘not working’ because they still struggle, or that their leaders make mistakes.
To grow spiritually, we must develop awareness of our weaknesses. Then we can apply the truth of Christ.
To grow spiritually, we deepen our understanding of what we cling to as substitute for God. Then we can let go and cling to Christ.
Then we will be able to show compassion and love to our neighbors. In our weakness, Christ gets to shine as our strength.
From there, people will see and want Christ, not us or our behavior. The former will never fail, the latter will because we are broken image bearers living in a broken world system.
This applies to church leaders as well as congregants. Together we are all followers of Christ.
How has the modern corporate culture seeped into your church and/or spiritual life?
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