Aug 8, 2010
Truth of the Bible is Meaningless Without the Truth of Our Actions
I shared with the congregation this morning an excerpt from a book I am reading called, "Dear Church: Letters from a Disillussioned Generation". The author, Sarah Cunningham, is exploring the question of why so many 20's-30's find themselves at odds with the church. This book is written from a person who loves the church, believes in church, and hopes that the church becomes who she was created to be.
In the opening chapter, Sarah Cunningham is interviewing 20's-30's unchurched folks about their views of the church. Here's what I shared with my church this morning:
The comments from a woman working in connection with the local justice department summarized the feelings of many. "What do you think churches could do to improve their relationship with the local community?" I asked.
"Churches?" she repeated, almost as if she thought she might have heard me wrong.
I nodded and repeated the question.
"I don't see anything that churches could do." She wasn't being mean, but rather to-the-point. "We've already got tons of churches. Look around. There's a church on every corner. I bet you could count nine or ten within three blocks of here," she reminded me. "An nothing has changed, has it? Did you know the that three or four of these churches have been here since the town was on the map? But some of the social issues just keep getting worse and worse."
She paused for me to write things down. "People don't have enough job training or employment opportunities. Drunks wander the streets. The same homeless people have been circling in and out of the shelters for the last fifteen years. Kids don't have anything to do to keep them out of trouble. Meanwhile, the churches keep right on existing, holding their services every Sunday. And it never changes anything. It seems pretty obvious to me that churches are not the answer."
If we believe that the local church is the hope of the world, then we must engage. We can no longer ignore the social issues of our day while preaching a "pure" gospel. The truth of the Bible must be accompanied by the truth of our actions otherwise the truth of the Bible is totally irrelevant.
God, help our churches to engage.
at 12:31 PM