February 21, 2011
Along with potlucks, bad hair, and cheesy TV, another favorite past time of Christians is hand-wringing. I say this as a lifelong Christian and a pastor. For some reason, we think we’re more spiritual when we’re beating up ourselves. The easiest sermon to preach for a pastor is the one that beats up on “the Church” and points out some spiritual deficiency.
And in the last few years, we’ve had a merry band of Christian pollsters who’ve given us fresh batches of alarming statistics to prove our points. But maybe, just maybe those stats are wrong. For instance, one of the most tried and true dire warnings for the American church has been the refrain, “The divorce rate is higher in the church than in the culture.” This has been used to beat up the soft theology of the American church and call it to more robust, cross-bearing discipleship. I think the call to such radical obedience is necessary, but the alarmism is often misplaced. Expecially when you consider that those marriage statistics we’ve been spouting may have been wrong all along.