Hard words for the church

From someone who is basically exiled from the church for not fitting in socially or theologically, here are some hard words (do I produce any other kind?).

As long as sin is communal and righteousness is isolating, sin will win.  People trying to get me to come back to the faith tell me to read my Bible, pray, and go to church.  You can do all these activities without ever saying anything of substance to another human being.  Contrast this to fornication, and abusing substances.  Relationships arising in this context are not always life giving but at least they are more real.  In our single-serving culture people are rabid for authenticity and real relationships.  They opt for messy love over plastic love because the former gels better with their instincts.

Made for TV moments need to be followed up.  You know how it goes, someone is in a desperate situation, the camera swoops in and magic happens.  Take for example the latest Billy Graham video where a women was about to commit suicide but went to church instead and got saved.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but what it misses is the most important work is the follow up after the cameras stop rolling.  Will people in the church support this woman, giving her rides when she needs them or meals or baby sitting?

Christians need to stretch past their pain points.  If you don’t know someone that well of course it’s going to be stressful interacting with them but after you get to know them more a lot of this stress should dissipate.  If you are married your relationship needs to be strong enough so that you can welcome single people into your life—working against the desire one party or the other has to veto the relationship.  A lot of people are drawn to the faith because of the promise of comfort.  This sabotages the church because the people drawn to comfort are the ones least willing to be comforters.

The church needs better connective technology.  The church does a good job at putting on a show for those sitting in the seats but not such a good job of creating online spaces for its members and the community at large.  The church needs to promote websites and apps that connect Christians together (for example a Christian dating website run by Christians).  Same goes for smartphone apps.  If there were an app that pinpointed people who needed help and encouragement that helped people get involved with each other that would be a blessing.

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