I appreciate all the comments Iâ€™ve received from many of you. I get anything from Iâ€™m not criticizing the church enough to Iâ€™m criticizing the church too much. Right off the bat, I want to admit I love the church. I confess it. I believe in it. But what I love is the actual church, the actual fellowship of believers. What I try to criticize are the â€œideasâ€ of church that swirl all around her. They are not her, but thoughts about her. Thatâ€™s why I invite criticism of my ideas, because thatâ€™s all they are.
Hereâ€™s a couple of reasons why I criticize ideas about the church:
1. Many of my friends, who are â€œbelieversâ€, abstain from church altogether. Why? This is a burning question for me. I donâ€™t think theyâ€™re just being lazy or rebellious or backslidden, but that thereâ€™s something crucially wrong. Maybe they, like squirrels, smell a trap and avoid it because they know it would mean their deaths. If thereâ€™s a sniff of manipulation, control, oppression, or bondage, they stay away. And I happen to believe that the church is the perfect culture for these poisons, like any other institution. I want to address this issue.
2. If we are concerned about evangelism, missions, or church growth, look at #1.
3. I pastor a church. I love her. That is, the church as it is. The actual fellowship of the actual people. However, there are all kinds of ideologies, expectations, theories, strategies, and propagandas around her and within her that would damage, deform, and destroy her. Iâ€™m critical of those.
Anyway, just some thoughts on thoughts. Feedback!!!!