Christian Blogging Problem – Speaking Negatively of the Church

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Abraham Piper recently wrote over at 22 Words, “Why do some Christians bash Christianity like they are not a part of it?” I think that is a valid question. Why are we often hardest on the people and institutions that are most important to us? There is a tendency on Christian blogs to talk about the parts of our faith and heritage that we believe needs the most change. That is a natural thing to do. The internet has given people a voice where there used to not be one. I think things have gotten better but it is still an issue. If we all just had a policy to make sure that our criticisms were far outnumbered by our praise of God’s church we would find our own view of God’s people to be much healthier.

Let’s be reminded for the metaphors we find in scripture for God’s people:

  1. Bride of Christ
  2. Chicks under the wing of the mother hen.
  3. God’s vineyard
  4. God’s children
  5. Christ’s body
  6. Sheep in God’s sheep pen
  7. A coin in God’s change purse
  8. A son who has come home
  9. Holy priesthood
  10. Royal nation
  11. God’s own special possession
  12. Christ followers/disciples
  13. Those who are sent out (apostles)
  14. Those who are called out (church/ekklesia)
  15. Friends of God
  16. Family of God
  17. Saints/holy ones

Do we remember who we are talking about when we speak negatively of the church? Even the word church is pretty loaded. The Ekklesia is the assembly. Assembly of what? God’s own people. I am sure there are more metaphors but the point is when you think of Christians in these terms it is hard to point fingers. It is hard to have anything but love and adoration for those who share our faith. We might disagree about some aspects of church or worship but let’s get it straight – God wants his body not to tear itself apart. God wants us to have so much love for each other that we are willing to overlook some differences in order to maintain the unity He has called us to participate in.

How we talk about the church has a lot to say about what is on the inside of our hearts when it comes to how we view others…and not just anyone…God’s people. I don’t know about you but I am thankful to be among a people who are seeking God. What will the world learn about the church based upon the words and attitudes of God’s very own people as we blog about church issues and other Christians?

0 Responses

  1. Definitely important things to be thinking about. I notice this often as I read blogs. Frequently it seems like bloggers are doing more harm than good in their criticism, myself included. I guess it seems like criticizing something will help to bring change. I try to (and plan to continue to try to) keep myself in check with this when thinking about the Church, since the things you said are important to remember.

  2. Dallas Willard says we are addicted to “condemnation engineering.” He says that is the point of the first part of Matthew 7 – Jesus is intervening in our world so that we can escape our old way of living.

    This particular way is like velcro for people like me, though. It just doesn’t let go easily.

  3. I think there’s definitely a place for realism and transparency in how we relate to one another at church, which should be obvious to outsiders. We should be willing to acknowledge our shortcomings and our desire to grow and mature.

    At the same time, yes, there is just way too much church bashing going on. In the experiences I’ve had with it, it seems some individuals aren’t content unless they are drawing attention to themselves by criticizing others. As sincere Christians, we’re usually kind enough to try and respect their opinion, even if it is sometimes not worthy of such respect. Speaking of churches of Christ in particular, I’ve never understood why some people don’t just leave if they are so upset and bothered by everything we do. I knew one such man who constantly complained, and eventually led a small exodus from my home congregation to a community church. There they didn’t mind him worshiping however he wanted, or holding whatever beliefs he wanted. When he couldn’t be offensive, he wasn’t happy, so he eventually came back and “repented”, then went back to stirring things up again.

    I think we should be focused on the positive, because there are a lot of things about what we are trying to accomplish that I can genuinely get behind and be proud of. I think we have a lot of good to offer people.

  4. Matt,

    Several blogs are not on my list of “must read” because it seems almost everything they write is negative

    I vote with Philip “Blog entry of the year so far, Matt”.


  5. this is very true,
    the counter-argument is, it’s difficult when one is trying to talk disparagingly about church traditions that are bad, wrong, evil, and others take it as assaulting the Church..

    we must be careful

  6. Wonderful post.
    I totally agree.
    We cherish Christ’s church.
    Yes, we aren’t perfect. Never have and never will is what God has been teaching me. He has also teaching me to fall deeper and deeper with Him and His church (which is us, believers) .

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