This morning I heard a local political analyst talking about his perception of government and the church. I guess it's true, talking about politics and religion are fodder for heated debate. In the argot of political correctness, it seems that there have misperceptions regarding the church. It doesn't surprise me that people don't trust the government... just the thought of what is "spun" our way can make you sick. It seems that most of it is a position that benefits a certain group whether it makes sense or not. What puzzled me was the stone cold analysis of the church according to this man. He said, and I quote, "Those in the church are loving until it comes to homosexuals and the sexually abused (referring the the clergy sexual abuse scandal here in Massachusetts.)." Wow! Do we have a long way to go or what? How are we going to fix that?
I have to say that I am so stunned that I don't really have much of an answer. I do think that this man, A) only knows about church from the news media, B) has a family member that fits into one or both categories and is over sensitized to it, C) has never been with a loving Christian. Wow times two! Here is a very intelligent man, obviously well educated, one who is outspoken against the crazies on both sides of the spectrum... there are certainly plenty of religious nuts to go around, and doesn't know about real love. I find that amazing.
The church needs to do something here. We are past the point of damage control, it appears that we have lost a lot of credibility. And now we are in a place where our rights, which are the same as everyone Else's, are in jeopardy. Why? Because we are lumped in with the worst. Some of this is our fault. I think it is time that individuals, churches, states and nations humble themselves in service to others. To make public displays of love, not protest. I am happy for those that want to fight the good fight at the State House and Nations Capital; we can't let every right that we have be trampled. However; we also have a great cloud of witnesses and they are watch and reporting. No, it is time that those who have been hurt by the church were sought out and real amends made. Are we so militant that certain types of people are not welcome in our church? That's ridiculous! Are we so unprincipled that we don't speak against that which is sin (with love and not condemnation)? That's ridiculous!
I have been watching the potential candidates for president. A guy like Barak Obama, he just presents his views the way he sees it. He admits his mistakes (cocaine use) and moves forward with his agenda. A lot of people are finding that attractive. Don't get me wrong, I am not supporting him as a candidate, I am just watching what he does, how he does it, and the results that he is getting. At some point the church has stop covering up our sins, pretending we are something that we are not, and say it the way we see it without being jerks. We need to admit that we are human; redeemed but human, and move ahead. It seems for a long time we have had the extremes, we were militant or permissive neither of which Jesus was. Becuase of this we have been perceived as hypocritical and unloving. In the process we have not given the world the very salt and light that it is looking for. Isn't that our business?