“. . . Why is it you have . . . put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? . . .” Acts 5:9
Church haters. There are lots of them. Many have good reason to be disgruntled. The church has been accused of not being many things. Indeed there are a plethora of functions that the church was never intended to be. Is it possible that the reason for so much dissatisfaction with the church is that we’ve been asking the church to be and do things it was never designed to do or be?
Some are searching for a fortress where they can live with little or no concern for others. Many now live in citadels that are soundproof and love-proof, only to discover insulated, isolated units break down into fragments of futility.
Some are led by the impulse to be spiritual nomads in search of a place free of commitment. No stakes, no roots, no connections. Cut off from rich culture and tradition, they have gone out of their way to avoid the responsibility of caring for others.
Some have a closed understanding of church. They believe faith is a personal matter, and refuse to be connected with a common crowd of church-goers. They have created a convent of convenience.
If Christianity expects to extend the kingdom of Jesus and bring change into a chaotic world, it can never be a castle, camp, or convent. Change will certainly never come about by well-meaning, unrelated, disconnected individuals. It will do it through a community dedicated to a divine commission.
Our life of faith stands on the shoulders of all the faithful who have gone before us. Who’s standing on your shoulders?