I was kind of disappointed to read that Anne Rice has given up on formal, churchy Christianity. Her reasons are typically liberal and I don’t agree with all she says, however, I do share her despair at the un-Christlike hatred she quotes as one reason. My view is that neither liberals nor “haters of sinners” have got it.
Jesus loved sinners, being accused by the religious establishment of his day of being a friend of sinners. On the other hand, Jesus did not single out any particular sin as being smaller or bigger than any other; all sin is against God and will be judged by Jesus one day. Everyone, everywhere has fallen short of the standard set by God. And that’s why I can’t swallow modern redefinitions of sin and morality; God decides right and wrong not me.
Churches are made up of all kinds of people in all kinds of spiritual condition, so it’s no wonder that any one of us might feel it’s a beneficial thing to give up on church when we have bad experiences, either of sin within the church or of judgementalism that does not reflect the gracious Saviour we claim to love.
I talked about Ephesians 3:10 to a group of folk this week and emphasised that despite its failings and our bad experiences, the church belongs to Jesus Christ and God’s manifold wisdom is still revealed through the her. Giving up on God’s work is too easy an option.
And that raises the question – what is the church?
10 August, 2010