Jun 14, 2011

Guilty of mote picking and hand wringing no more

I’ve been reading Chuck Swindoll’s book, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal. It fits nicely with what’s been weighing on my mind the last few years. My pastor at church lent it to me with a recommendation. In it, Pastor Swindoll does a wonderful job of illustrating just how far Christ’s church has drifted.

In Swindoll’s words, the church has eroded; and, this erosion has led to a number of heretical, false and unbiblical movements and trends in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This isn’t stop-the-presses news. Many have decried the degradation of the church. However, this isn’t a new phenomena, church leaders and laypeople alike have railed against this. We can even see church erosion all the way back to the writings of the Apostle Paul.

However, what I enjoy about this book is the fact that Swindoll doesn’t just point out the error. Being truthful without slinging mud, Swindoll moves from pointing out error to teaching us solutions to the problems he observes.

As simple and obvious as that sounds, many outspoken believers point out error without shining light on correction. I’m guilty of this very thing. So, one of the key learnings I’ve come away with is not to be so quick about railing against things without providing carefully considered correction based on scripture.

Yet, even offering solutions isn’t enough. Each believer much take action when there is error around them. Stemming the tide of erosion of the church is not the sole responsibility of church leaders or even particularly gifted Christians. It’s a responsibility of laypeople under the leading of the Holy Spirit to recognize error, point it out and take action to deal with it.

Of course there are elders in churches and there is biblically prescribed discipline. But, if a layperson hears or learns of something that isn’t aligned with God’s word and leading, then that layperson’s inaction is sinful. My inaction is sinful.

So, now I am going to work hard at confronting error with solutions instead of just ringing a bell.