The church can be its own worst enemy

This is one of my regular themes, that the church, in the name of “go along to get along”, tries way too often to be “accepting”, which often puts our fidelity to the Lord, behind our desire to, oh I don’t know, hang with the cool kids? Father Frederick Nkwasibwe raises this issue in his book Business Courage, quoting Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland: “…the process of secularization has been accelerated by the efforts of the Church or religious leaders to conform to the popular culture of the times … which to Christians, for example, could become a type of civil religious: politically correct, but without the cutting edge of the Gospel” (Cf. Neumayer, April 2011; Marin, 2009) (Business Courage pp 290-291

Yea, well AMEN. My wife and I were the Massachusetts coordinators for the National Day of Prayer, I had a pastor suggest to me that I should let the Christian pastors know that they shouldn’t be referring to Jesus in their public prayers!!!! Yea, really!!! I still can’t get over that, here’s a person, an ordained pastor, has taken an oath to faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but hey, you don’t want to make that public???

As a Lutheran pastor might have theological issues with the Archbishop but boyo, couldn’t agree more. In fact this is a theme with Martin Luther “the right-hand kingdom” (the church) and the “left-hand kingdom” (the secular). These are entirely separate kingdoms, but both created by God and both responsible to Him, with the church always mediating, being the conscience of the world, not imposing Christ, but certainly not forsaking Him or somehow denying Him just because there is a secular audience.

As a Christian minister, I am by definition a representative of Christ, I represent Christ no matter what the forum. Anything less would be to deny Him, how would that make me different from Peter or even Judas? If the church had been a lot more concerned about its faithfulness to Jesus and a lot less concerned with its public persona over the last however many decades, it would be taken a lot more seriously today. Despite its very serious issues with some of its priests, the church is still respected, albeit grudgingly, because it ultimately still maintains a faithful witness to Christ. They may do it wrong, but they still confess Christ and that is what is ultimately important. If the rest of the church had faithfully proclaimed Christ and not worried about its polling numbers like some slavish politician, the church would be taken much more seriously and respected today.

How does that fit into our life in the workplace, pretty much the same way. Christians for way too long (again at least decades) have been living like the world for six and half days and expect that they can just put that Christian facade on Sunday mornings and their good to go for the next six and a half days. You don’t have to parade around with a Bible, or jump on your desk to preach at work, but living out a living witness to Christ as best as possible, and taking advantage of opportunities to tell people about Christ being your Lord and what that means. I lived that way in a regular, old corporate job and on active duty in the military and I lived it in a Christ honoring way, people knew it, respected it and often talked to me about it. Don’t know that I can really say how and why others related in a handful of words, but it sounds to me like something you can talk about to your pastor (yea, like me) and keep in prayer looking for the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We meet on Wednesdays at the Green Bean Coffee Co, corner of W King  and Beaver Sts 10am, park right behind the church. All welcome, no cost, no obligation, heck for your first visit I’ll even buy you coffee.

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