I was asked yesterday on Twitter, “what are you doing to fix the church?”
(As if arguing against wrong premises isn’t on the approved work list of modern evangelicalism.)
My answer (not on Twitter, but here and now)?
The church has been undone by an abundance of zealous doers.
The problem is, if my observation of church service is correct, too much of the doing stems from the faulty notion of reciprocal obligation (God was obliged to do so much for me, I must now repay what He has done), which brings a burden on the one hand, and possibly Matthew 7-esque judgement on the other.
The bigger problem, is that hard work stemming from wrong springs, actually maligns God.
It makes Him out to be a lonely, needy, co-dependent, insufficient being, who desperately needs enough people to enlist in His cause if He is to have any chance of accomplishing His goals.
Come on, people.
Open up your Bible and read Job 38-40. Or Psalm 115:3. Or Romans 9. Don’t hit me up on Twitter with passages from James. I’m well aware of “be ye doers of the word and not just hearers.”
The problem with the modern church is that too many are not even hearers. They are not listening to the beautiful song of sovereign grace, but rather the hackneyed karaoke of a thousand amped up, risk taking, uneducated hipsters getting rich selling their new and improved to-do lists.
Where has all the rest gone?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Eph. 2:8-9
“It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (and no that does not apply to church growth you Calvary Chapelites, but the miraculous work of regeneration.) – Zech. 4:6
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” – Heb. 4:9-10
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matt. 11:28-30
To further illustrate the point, consider the following quote by Dr. Martyn Llyod Jones:
“Scripture, in dealing with the Christian, always emphasizes first what he is, before it begins to speak of what he does.”
Not enough Christians know who they are.
They’re operating on faulty intel that says they must appease a moody, vengeful, fickle guy-in-the-sky with their fervent effort, and climb the evangelical corporate ladder, by out-serving the guy sitting in the pew next to them.
So what am I doing to fix the church? Well, besides nothing, first, I’m doing my darnedest to ensure I’m in the faith, by believing correct things about God. Second, my wife and I are busting our keisters to avoid creating 4 more, man worshiping, do crazed clones in our children. Third, I’m fighting to trust everyday that God’s wise providence has placed me where He desires and, therefore, is “fixing the church” via the truth of Acts 17:29 and 1 Corinthians 10:31. Fourth, I’m fighting for less egomaniacal secularization in the church by laboring (insufficiently, I fear) to convey right thinking about God and man.
So I suppose I’m doing my best to hear, while at the same time trusting that better hearing supernaturally results in better and more doing.