Friday, August 9, 2002

The Church that was…or was it?

In today’s paper (August 8, 2002) there was a front-page story about the churches in my area building new buildings due to increasing membership. What is so different about my church that the members run away from it? Is it the cliques? Is it the indifference on the part of the senior leadership? Is it the soul-sapping melancholy that one feels as you walk through the doors? How can you institute change when the leaders refuse to listen? Is there anything we can do to change this? How can you break up cliques? How can you grow, when you refuse to offer classes dedicated to certain age groups? How can you grow, when you refuse to speak to people? Other Salvation Army Corps are growing by leaps and bounds, why not us? What is so different about the Pensacola Corps that we are stagnant and decaying? What is so wrong with us that we cannot work up the outrage over the gossip and the backbiting, and all those other small things that destroy us? Is it better to have a church of hundreds that cannot stand one another, or a church of ten where love is evident? I know which I would choose. I know which I wish my church were. The sad truth about the Pensacola Corps is that if my first experience with Christianity came from there, I would be asking, what’s the point? I thought Christian’s loved one another? At the start of this rant, I asked the question, why aren’t we growing? The sad truth is that that is not the proper question to be asking. The question that needs to be asked is, “Why aren’t we all loving one another?” The church will not grow unless its members love one another. Until that is fixed, we just have to sit there and smell the gangrene, or go find a new church.

How can we show love to sinners, when none wants to show love to the saints?

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