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Thursday, August 16, 2012

We Need more Martyrs

Perhaps only dead men can dominate conversations in the United States these days. Licentiousness, gossip, envy, and mediocrity reign supreme, not only on the internet and airwaves, but in the pulpits as well. If I were to die tomorrow, the result of my life would be less than exceptional; much of what I have contributed or written down could be viewed as careless rants and posturing against an institution that I honestly love: the church.

Add one more rant to the list.

When it comes to the church, I'm in a love hate relationship. It is my love that keeps me pining at its doors hoping that a church of Acts revolution breaks out upon the world; it’s my hate, upon seeing its true face, that makes me want to burn it to the ground! It is not enough these days for people to simply hate the church…if that were the case, we might as well just cut our wrists or become atheists. Conversely, it is not enough to sit idly by and watch the church remain in its present state, which is awful! The only way out seems to be to both love and hate the church enough to change it. This love/hate has to be akin to Christ’s love of mankind, and hatred of sin: a transcendental purpose without any earthly reason.

If the church is to be “saved” from its current state, that’s all well and good…I have bought my ticket, and I’m willing to show up to the burning and/or barn raising. But if there is to be emancipation, then I must ask: By what means and what way? A religious movement needs to be biblically based otherwise it is a sham! That being said, the emancipation must come about through martyrdom-a bloody or bloodless sacrifice. The sacrifice is a spiritual commitment and a non-compromising attitude. Now there are those who wish to save the Church by secular and worldly means (i.e. no martyrdom), they have bastardized it through politicization and self-serving agendas. This rightwing political infusion is currently the bane of the modern day church. We love our wars, we love our guns, and we love our money. Hail prosperity at all costs!

So I ask: what does it mean when we continue to behave as though the Church is as it should be? How can we call ourselves “Christians” when the ideals of the New Testament have gone out of life? I personally believe that you have to both love and hate something to change it. We need more martyrs! The only alternative is the paralyzing realization that the world has outgrown the Church...and possibly Christianity.