Thursday, October 28, 2010
Back to the Babel story, the main problem seems to be that the builders were out to make a name for themselves, and Evangelical ministries have a lot in common with them it seems. It is difficult to imagine God frustrating the purposes of his people, but it may very well be that our purposes are not His purposes. I don’t doubt that there is much wisdom in the prophetic voices and the reality of what direction things are heading. I just wish I could be more optimistic about evangelicalism as a whole.Christianity consists of a set of fine balances - obedience and grace - faith and action - reason and revelation. Here we see the balance between near dictatorial authority in the Roman Catholic Church and the free enterprise that is American Evangelicalism.
There is a selfishness involved in a purely competitive system that results in the sort of "make a name for oneself" mentality mentioned. The result, sadly is mush.
Think about branded products, laundry detergent for example. There are real differences in the products, often minor, sometimes - though not typically - inconsequential, but they exist. The array of products has grown so diverse that most people buy out of pure brand loyalty, or they assume they are all the same and buy what's cheapest. Rarely do people take the time to figure out what laundry detergent works best in their situation (water hardness, washer type, average water temp, how the clothes are typically dirtied....)
Now translate that the the church. People either belong out of pure brand loyalty, in which case they will never notice when the church goes bad (think mainstream denominationalism) or they will look for what is "cheapest," that is to say that which demands the least of them.
Christianity demands ALL of us.
Scary thought, huh?