I was recently listening to a Christian teacher preach through a passage of scripture that has profound implications for the church and the way we share the truth. I thought of a few areas where the American church has some issues, and I surely overlooked plenty of my own blind spots as well.
The sermon ended up doing two other things than what I had in mind: explaining what’s wrong with the world and what’s OK with the church. Though gentle and devoid of righteous indignation, the sermon amounted to little more than a pat on the back for the church and a wag of the finger at the world. In short, the sermon lacked relevance for today.
Theology is toothless when we study scripture and come up with interesting Biblical data and stray away from speaking prophetically to our world and to the church. Surely there are times when the church has things right and should be affirmed when appropriate, but when we have it coming, teachers and preachers who tip toe across the soft ground of self-affirmation do far more harm to the church than good.