Friday, December 15, 2006

What happened to REAL love in the Church??

The most frequently discussed topic on church signs as I drive by them seems to be acceptance or love. Sermons deal with how to accept people as they are, do not judge one another. Do not discuss sin for it is not loving. Do not discuss any controversial or taboo topics, for they may offend. Is this the new definition of love. We must be careful in our cultural context to define the terms we use. Is love allowing people to be anything and everything they want to be, thus being accepting of them so they feel "love" towards you? Well obviously even people in this belief system would put limits upon the anything and everything. For example, they would not say its loving to let someone be a murderer, or rapist and tell them that's OK its just the way you are. However, as grave as that example is, I believe the Church is performing a far greater disservice to believers and non-believers alike. In our quest for big numbers, big buildings, and happy sermon topics, we have lost real love. If your children said "If you love me you will let me play in the street" how would you respond? Would you say "Your right honey, play in the street," and when they are hit by a car would you exclaim "I do not understand why this happened." In contrast, would you say "No, you cannot play in the street BECAUSE I love you."
I contend that as crazy as the first answer seems, this is exactly what we seem to be doing. We do not preach redemption... For no one has really done anything wrong. We do not preach the cross... because it is too disturbing, and honestly how is that going to get the people in the pews a promotion or how will the church raise the money for the new building if they preach about the condition of man and his dire need for a savior. Perhaps even scarier, Will preaching about these topics cause some people to leave my church? Now I am not saying this pseudo-love is being preached and taught universally, but it is far too prevalent. How do we solve this problem? Can the church attract people without showing movies, serving coffee in corporate worship, and just doing its best to entertain people? Is Jesus really attractive when the whole counsel of Scripture is used to describe Him and His teachings? I hope to answer these questions in my next blog... so stay tuned


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