Here is an excerpt from a recent editorial in The Tennessean:
“Religion these days seems to be just the road to Hell, paved by the shortcomings and outright subversive intentions of some men, who anoint themselves as speaking for God. It allies itself with politicians, who couldn’t give a rat’s patootie about doctrine, to obtain power and control over others. Especially women and anyone different from them. Sitting quietly in a pew in silence, not challenging false teachings, allows the cancer of lies, control, intolerance to grow. No wonder people don’t go to church anymore and are leaving the church in droves. We are tired of liars smiling and quoting Jesus and the Bible in public, while in private sexually assaulting congregations, family members and children.”
This is a scathing rebuke of all that is wrong with organized religion. The woman who wrote this editorial was clearly angry—and she has the right to be. Of course, it isn’t fair to color the entire church with these charges. But the fact is the church rarely makes news for doing the right things. We are only “news” when one of us does the wrong thing. That may be an unfair, high bar to set for all believers, but it is what it is.
Maybe the most important takeaway from this is to be reminded that people are watching. We who believe in the Lordship of Jesus proudly wear that title, but it comes with a price tag—”to whom much is given, much will be expected.”
We aren’t perfect. We will make mistakes. Sometimes they will be doozies. The best we can do is to remain humble, offer compassion, refrain from judgment, and show love. If we can do that, then maybe the world will not stay away from us in droves.
Here’s a way to begin—imagine every stranger you meet is this woman. What would you like her to know about you as a Christian believer?