“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
– Jesus, in Matthew 5:14-16
I’m at a terrible place in my faith. It’s dangerous, scary, and upsetting (mostly to those around me). I make my elders uncomfortable, I confuse younger people; and honestly I’m more than a little uncomfortable and confused myself.
I’m beginning to ask questions.
Not about faith itself – I am still 100% consumed by the Gospel, still dedicated to the Kingdom coming, and still in love with Jesus my Savior. My questions aren’t about what we believe. My questions are about how we believe it.
It’s no secret that there is a disconnect between faith and life, words and deeds in the modern western church. I’ve read dozens of books on it (I think the topic has its own genre now – emerging something-or-other), had hundreds of conversations with believers of all ages about it, and sensed it since the moment I began ministry.
My questions aren’t about whether the church is wrong or right (maybe they should be). I still believe in the institution (to an extent) and still believe that good is coming out of it (sometimes). My question is this – is there a better way?
It’s hard to put this out there, because I’m really just asking a question. For some reason, because I’m a leader in a church, I’m not allowed to ask questions unless I have answers. I’m not entirely sure where that came from, but it causes a deep unease in me. But honestly, I don’t have an answer (maybe I never will), just this question: is there a better way?
Is there a better way to “do” church? Is there a better way to love people? Is there a better way to reach deep into a culture that barely trusts us “Christians/Christ-followers/disciples/whatever-we-call-ourselves-now”? Is there a better way to serve, a better way to go, a better way to expose the Gospel of the Kingdom that is already at work in every corner of the globe no matter how deep, dark, communist, or terrorist-filled?
Is there a better way? I don’t have an answer yet, but I do have a dream (and, apparently, a cliché). I dream of the Church being so filled with the light of Christ, and so consumed with doing good that we would not have to spend millions of dollars trying to package the Gospel for consumption by the masses. I hope for the day when all men, all over the world would see the beautiful, loving, compassionate Bride and with breathless wonder ask “why?”
Why are you different? Why do you care about those that no one else cares about? Why do you give of yourselves so freely to those that you know to be your enemies? Why?
And on that day, we can look into the eyes of all men and say, “because there is a better way.”