Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Right Idea, Wrong Tactic
OK, there are some good ideas there - the church does suffer from a bad image that needs reversing, and confession is the way to start. But there are also some bad ideas - like confessing in this fashion, and confessing to things that are not sins, but simply political hot potatoes.
A group called "Changing the Face of Christianity" has started a new campaign that they hope will... well... change the face of Christianity. But the way they're going about it seems to me that it may backfire.
The plan: Have Christians publicly confess their shortcomings by leaving nots in public places and posting them on a website.
The goal, according to an article in the Christian Post: to help Christians to acknowledge problems such as hidden hypocrisy, intolerance and homophobia... you know, all the things that give Christianity a bad name.
But the thing that really gets to me is that this idea seems like the form of confession without the substance. Confession, in many sense, is not about making the other feel better, but about taking an honest look at ourselves and admitting to a problem so that we actually get better. Confession is not an end, but a beginning.
And here is the biggest thing - confession is meaningless unless we actually move from there to do something. And if we confess to God, the change will happen., and when the change happens, public confession takes a very different tone and tenor.
Confession without change is in fact hypocrisy. Change accompanied by confession is a reclamation of the moral authority the church has punted away.