During a recent lunch time around-the-table discussion in which the topic of conversation became belief in God one of my coworkers voiced his belief in God but quickly and adamantly expressed negative feelings toward the church, or organized religion as he referred to it. His negative feelings toward the church didn’t surprise me; in fact, over the past several years I have heard the same basic negative feelings of disappointment and frustration expressed by a number of different people who have declared themselves as being spiritual people who want nothing to do with the church.
The more I think about the frustration and disappointment expressed by many toward the modern version of the church with all of its man-made baggage and theological pollution, the more I understand their cry and identify with their feelings. Shouldn’t one of our goals as Christians be to help people set aside their negative ideas about the church long enough so that they can clearly see and experience the pure, living water offered by and through Jesus?
In all honesty, the church is guilty of polluting the pure water of Jesus. We’ve been so focused on being correct in our doctrine and pointing out the interpretational errors of others that we’ve failed to inspire hope and offer a vision of the beauty that exists in living the Christian life. Statements such as the one expressed by my coworker should encourage those of us who are Christians to look within and question whether or not our lives are truly reflective of the Lord we claim to love and serve. These statements should lead to a renewed determination within us to be no less or more than simply Christians – cleansed of man-made baggage and theological pollution.
At the same time, statements such as the one mentioned earlier should also motivate us because such statements indicate a desire within modern man to know and experience relationship with God. These types of statements reveal that there are people who are thirsty for truth and discovering meaning to life; and indicate the importance of our returning to and refreshing our own souls in the source of the pure, living water so that we may be more able to lead them to Jesus, the pure, unpolluted source of life for all who trust in him.
These are my thoughts, what are yours?