Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Both those statements are frequently said by all. When the church says that people are broken, depraved, sinners, etc. people seem to become unglued. There is a flurry of criticism on churches for being abusive because they call our sin and seem to use fear. While I know spiritual abuse is a real issue, the matter of pointing sin and human depravity out is not being abusive nor fear based. Not is pointing and mention such neglecting God’s love. In the “let’s pile on and beat up he church because we can” I see an very ironic presentation of the Gospel.
Stop X, endure Y, which leads to Z
A couple of recent blog posts critiquing the church mentions the importance of stopping involvement in church because its unhealthy, enduring the pain of that loss, and then you will ultimately be at peace. Some posts were by de-churched people who walked away from Christ, others who are confused by their situations. This process ironically is the Gospel. They call for ceasing an activity, which is called repentance. They then move to enduring the process of change, which is called sanctification. They then point out the peace they have at the end, which is what we’d call salvation. The narrative of the Gospel is there, hypocritically in some respects. Why?
Plato’s Republic contends with how to have a just city.What is interesting is all the issues associated with such. One conclusion mentioned is “I suppose if there were a perfect person we would kill them.” Mark Twain mentioned a similar thought when he stated “There is nothing more annoying than that of a good example.” We cringe at perfection. Early electronic keyboards suffered an issue of making no mistakes. The programers then had to add sporadic mistakes so the sounds coming from the keyboard would sound authentic. For centuries we humans struggle with our inability to be perfect and our repulsion towards such.
Saying calling out sin is bad is calling out sin
To say pointing out sin is wrong is to be calling out sin. This demonstrates we have a sin problem. Sidestepping the issue by saying you’re trying to get people to the change is calling for repentance. Pointing out sin and calling for repentance is called evangelism. Evangelism is one activity some critics look down upon. So, how do we articulate a very human activity of calling out error based on our moral stance?
All of us are religious
We all worship something. We all judge. We all evangelize. We are very much religious people. Those who say everything goes are just as guilty, for they’re a bulk of who deals with the issues of this post. This leaves us with broader discussions of the meaning of life, truth, and death. At the end if the day, we will wrestle with these issues and where we fell short. As humans we have a desire for truth and what is best. We also shun it when it goes against us. We also manipulate data in order to support our presuppositions or conclusions. Like the cliché goes: No one is perfect.
The bottom line:
Pointing out human depravity is not making less of us. It’s stating fact. Positive thinking is not ignoring reality for a better picture. Positive thinking is seeing what is and how one can change and make things better. We are all religious people, it is a matter of what we worship not if. At the end of the day we must contend with what religion best deals with the human condition. And, we will even pull people to that religion. And when we die, we shall find if we were right in placing our faith in our religion.