What’s Wrong With the Church

What's Wrong With the Church

I JUST READ AN ARTICLE LISTING 10 SIGNS YOU ARE ATTENDING A GREAT CHURCH.

Bless that publisher. What a novel idea.

MOST ARTICLES I’VE SEEN LATELY OFFER 83 WAYS THE CHURCH IS SCREWING UP.

Churches are too cultural – you know, they look too much like the world by using technology and lights and sound and computers and striving for an excellent presentation of the gospel. Pretty soon it will be a Disney production. Heaven help the folks who can’t just meet in a park.

The young people are leaving! The young people are leaving! – by land, by sea; all those dad-gum millennials are gravitating to steeple churches with pews showing us how messed up the church is. Because it is truly unprecedented to have young people challenging the system of their parents. I guess no one has ever done that in history. Weird. Young people are still coming in droves where I worship and showing great leadership skills.

Churches are trying too hard to be relevant – by engaging the culture, they are looking too much like the folks around them. They are too consumer minded; wasting all that money on air-conditioning and plastic cups. Pretty soon we won’t be able to tell a church from…a coffeeshop or a university or something.

The church is just too flippin’ big – if we were really making a difference, we could fit everyone in our community around the kitchen table. And if no one ever asks to join us, I guess that indicates spiritual depth and an unwillingness to compromise. Because everyone coming to listen to an engaging preacher might like him too much and give him the big head. And then he might write a book and get famous and that’s when we will know he didn’t really love Jesus.

This kind of reading is much more fun, I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, I think we should always weigh what we experience in a church community against what we read in the Bible and understand from the Holy Spirit. But we like to publish exposés. The drama is just too inviting.

IS IT JUST ME OR HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN TRENDY TO CRITICIZE THE CHURCH?

Or anything really. If we can point out all the weaknesses or potential pitfalls of something, then we elevate ourselves by displaying our intellectual prowess. And if we possess the articulation to couple that with sarcastic, witty and pithy sentiments (complete with oxford commas), we might even get published.

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT I AM TIRED OF IT. TIRED OF IT.

This applies to our current political debate as well. My newsfeed is filled with folks who can’t tell me one single thing they are for. If they support something—shoot, anything, have a original idea, or a positive direction we should go as a country, etc.—I certainly can’t figure it out. Rather their posts and tweets are nothing but a tirade against their least favorite candidate and by extension anyone who dares to vote for such monsters. Basically, I have been threatened by several of my own social media acquaintances that I should consider myself “unfriended” if I should dare to vote for their particular nemesis. And if I have any character at all, I will take the initiative by “unfriending” them, because they are very proud to claim they don’t know “anyone” with an opposing view whom they respect. Well, I wasn’t really planning to post a pic inside my voting booth next fall (is that even legal?), but I guess if they want to follow me in there and have a go at judging me, then have at it.

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Steve Jennings
Steve Jennings is the pastor of Immanuel Church of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.