Iâ€™ll admit it: I am a critic of the church. But its because I love the church. And note: I criticize it from the inside believing that the church can become what it is. But criticism should be heard from all quarters. So, I think it can withstand and endure the severest critiques. Chomsky is a case in point. He is a severe critic of the United States, a well-known dissident. He appreciates the incredible freedom Americans enjoy that has been achieved with tremendous struggle. But he critiques the country from the inside because it is obvious he loves the United States and democracy and wants to see it proper, not self-destruct. Another case in point is Romeo Dallaire. When I read his excellent book, Shake Hands With the Devil, I was inspired by his passion for justice, democracy, and peace. His criticism of the United Nations is severe, but itâ€™s because he believes it should play an important role in the world, not because he wants to see it annihilated.
I was at a party last night, and had a conversation with a friend who also has teenagers, like me (not â€œteenagers like meâ€, but â€œteenagers, like meâ€â€¦ that comma makes a difference!). We were talking about our teenagersâ€™ relationship with the church. The important difference between us and them is that we are willing to put up with a lot in order to get to a worthy goal. In other words, we are willing to put up with some theological nonsense, politics and religiosity, in order to server the church. My kids wonâ€™t! If they smell even a hint of manipulation, abuse, control, hypocrisy, propaganda, or half-truths and lies, the vote with their attitudes and level of involvement.
So, thatâ€™s why I criticize the church. Itâ€™s not because I want to see her destroyed, but because I believe that she can become what she is called to be in this world. This is going to be, I think, the main purpose of this blog.