I was involved in a discussion tonight, which made think about the following. It seems like many churches (and some christians too) are semi-blind to what they are. People seem to have this idea that if you’re honest about a problem, your somehow insulting the Son of God. If we’re not honest about problems, we can’t and won’t begin to fix them. But the problem is, there are far too many people who think we’ve basically have it right already. This is true especially in doctrine, but in practice as well. If asked, most christians can recite all of the negative ways in which we are, more often than not, perceived by those “outside”. But a lot of these same christians are at a lost to understand why we’re perceived that way, may think the criticisms are unfounded, and take it as an insult. (I’d venture to guess that most people aren’t actually offended on God’s behalf, but are rather taking the criticism personally.)
So people know what the criticisms are, and to some degree what the external perception is. However, they are blind in not seeing the ways in which those criticisms may actually be true. Along these lines, there is too often a disconnect between what is said (preached) and what actually happens (practiced). Christianity involves beliefs, and christians usually feel like they have to be proclaiming the “Sunday school answers” to everything. However in practice, what we say we’re about and is important to us is often not actually true. It’s said that you can tell what a person values by what they spend their resources on—how they spend their time and money. Can’t the same be said for a church? What do churches spend the majority of their time and money on? I have some answers, but for now I’ll leave it as a question to consider. I’ll just say that in reality, I don’t think we’re blind so much as we refuse to see.