Chuck Colson is wincing at the message of a ...... new book, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity . . . And Why It Matters.And what people think is what they believe ... until they are shown otherwise.[David] Kinnaman and [Gabe] Lyons spent three years polling young, unchurched Americans to find out what they thought about Christianity. Millions of young people, they discovered, see us as judgmental, hypocritical, anti-homosexual, too political, insensitive—and boring. Ouch!I know what they mean; many believers (myself included) see contemporary Christians in this same way. Why?
Because they are! (Let me qualify my opinion by narrowing the sample size to "western" Christianity.)As the authors write, “Many of those outside of Christianity . . . reject Jesus because they feel rejected by Christians.”And it's not just unbelievers who feel rejected by believers; far too many believers feel rejected by believers.
Not more than a half an hour ago I was discussing (with a member of my church) the Christian wounded found lying on the highway of Christian service. I told him it wasn't non-believers passing them by that bothered me, but the believers who walked by pretending not to notice (I can't bring myself to admit they actually do not notice; consider the implications if true).
I have an opinion about this ... I believe it is a direct result of two aberrant lay-theologies: Hop-a-long and Get-a-long theology.
The former refers to that theology among lay Christians which says, "I'll visit here, but not get involved, that way I can hop-a-long when I see something I don't like." These are your pew sitters and church hoppers.
The latter refers to that theology among moderately committed church-goers; which says, "Why can't these church leaders just go-a-long to get-a-long? Why do they have to take the bible so seriously? Who are they to judge? People don't want that." These are your self-righteous, stealth-liberals; the ones who surprise everyone when they vote to throw the pastor out based on unfounded accusations.
Colson has his own opinion ...Sometimes we do come across as judgmental, anti-homosexual, and excessively politicized. And all too often, when others misrepresent Christianity, we do not know enough about our own doctrines to explain the truth. Yes, we draw millions into our churches on Sunday, but let’s face it: We draw them in by offering therapeutic services that make them feel better, but not be better.It's the same coin, just the other side.
Colson says, the book ...unChristian providentially challenges us at the very moment many are waking up to the need to clean up our own house. Once we do this, we will be able to reach out to those outside the faith and—in a loving, non-judgmental way—offer them the glorious Truth.I agree with that assessment, only it too is too weak. I read "loving, and non-judgmental" as more compromise and subtle doctrinal capitulation: he is basically suggesting we treat our brethren with velvet gloves so we can all get-a-long.
Where is the doctrine of body discipline in the western church today? Where is the dctrine of chastisement and correction in the church today? Is there no place for these?
If not, perhaps we should take the scissors to ..."All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."I don't know where you are on this milquetoast bell-shaped curve but I'm fairly certain of where Peter and Paul would be ... not to mention Jesus.2 Timothy 3:16-17
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