Thursday, May 04, 2006


Last night our friend Chris came over. With all that’s going on around in both of our lives our conversation couldn’t help but turn to the Church. The question of the night was, “Can people that love the Lord somehow allow sinful thoughts/attitudes to penetrate their hearts to the point where they don’t even realize it’s sinful?”
Malcolm Gladwell asserts “we don’t deliberately choose our attitudes.” (Blink, pg 85) He’s talking about unconscious judgments we make in life. I think there can be a spiritual unconscious to our lives too. Just like there can be hidden attitudes in our lives that we don’t always realize are there I think we can let sin have such a foothold that we can no longer identify it. It seems to me that even the most well-intentioned, God seeking people can get caught up in their own concept of God’s will so much so that they become darkened to God’s truth.
This revelation scares me. It makes me fear for the Church (universal). It makes me fear for myself. Could I become one of those Christians that is able to see everyone else’s struggles yet blind to my own selfish pride? Melissa commented today that we all must make sure we are held accountable for our actions. We need those relationships where truth is spoken. I don’t think anyone would argue with that.
So why then is the church notorious for tip-toeing around sensitive issues of sin? Why does it seem that we can argue over church politics so much that we lose the church? I’ve heard so many church conflict stories that point to agendas, control and pride that I wonder aloud, “do all these people think they are right?” Do both sides in all these church arguments believe they are in the center of God’s will? Often, the answer is yes.
HOW is that possible? Are we deaf to the voice of God? Or, as I used to joke with my parents, have we turned our miracle ears ® off? Does there come in time in our lives where we have accepted sin for so long that even blatant rebellion against Christ can seem like the right thing? I say blatant rebellion because Christ called the Church His bride and breaking that up, or forcing a divorce sounds like rebellion to me.
The caveat is that maybe we don’t know it’s sin at the time. Maybe we really do think we are doing the right thing. We may even say that our motives were good but it just got out of hand. In the end, “it needed to happen”. Does that help the lives that have been hurt in the process? Who can tell who’s right or wrong when we all think we’re doing the right thing?
I’ve been around enough conflict in churches to realize that there are usually good and bad points on both sides of the big issue and that’s it’s rarely just one side that’s at fault. As this truth plays out in church after church, why can’t the two sides humble ourselves enough to actually work through the conflict? Why are politics more important than relationships? I have heard numerous accounts of congregants that used to be friends but now hate each other. That’s horrible, strong and telling language. It tells me that unconsciously we’ve let darkness in.
I’m troubled by these thoughts. It saddens me that the Church has a pattern of our unconscious attitudes winning the war and that I've probably been part of the problem instead of a solution. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have enough optimism to consider the incredibly meaningful word reconciliation. Today, I’m just too disheartened.



Blogger ¤ kate ¤ said...

" I have heard numerous accounts of congregants that used to be friends but now hate each other. That’s horrible, strong and telling language. It tells me that unconsciously we’ve let darkness in."

that is such a good point.... i think that we all need to realize that any time hate is involved, it for sure isn't from God. I know for sure that i need to remember that. thx for typing... even tho u were disheartened, it helped me organize things in my brain a little bit better. thx.

2:52 AM  

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