Monday, January 28, 2008

Accepting Sin in the Church?

At Monday morning insight Bernie says,
"Another reason why I tend to megachurches, in general, is because they tend to promote "Churchianity" rather than true Christianity (corrupting the Gospel). Keeping the main institution alive takes so much money and time that outreach is severely affected. Then they bring in false teaching about tithing in order to bring in money, to add insult to injury. From experience, they usually also have a "big tent" mentality, which means tolerating all kinds of evil teachings like the prosperity gospel, because they don't want to offend anyone (the donors)."

I wonder about this too. I just bought the new book by Ron Sider called The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience.: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? That's a good question. Why is divorce just as high with so-called "born agains" as it is with non-Christians, according to Barna? Why is fornication rampant in big evangelical churches? Why is no discipline practiced? Every single I've met from one big area church in our city during the past few years was fornicating--including a pastor's son! Nobody seems to care. When couples in our church fall into sin, they know they can to go this church or several others and nobody will say anything just because they are living together. In fact, nobody would have any way to know.

How much difference would it make for huge churches if they practiced church discipline? What if fornication wasn't allowed in the church? What if churches knew enough about their people to realize they were in sin in the first place? What if the church preached against greed instead of extolling it? Would that decrease church growth, or increase it? And should the church take an interest in regulating behavior? Or should we just preach the truth and let the chips fall?

2 comments:

AdamK said...

Showing church discipline is a tricky thing in a huge church unless you have deep relationships to back it up. I know that if I was in sin and a church leader that I have never spoken to before came to me and started speaking truth to me I would either ignore him or just leave. Without relationships within the body of Christ, church discipline is impossible to enact in a loving manner.

Dennis said...

Yeah, good point, Adam. Doesn't this mean the option of having a big church without involving our people in small groups of some kind pretty much requires that we accept a soft version of Christianity? On the other hand, in smaller house churches or small groups, we do know each other, and we have a basis to call each other out on issues we see.