Many of us can become quickly discouraged and even frustrated when we take an honest assessment of the church, the behavior of some Christians, and even our own lives. Whether its people like Westboro Baptist playing out their unspeakable misunderstanding of the Christian Faith or just taking assessment of our own lives, perplexed by the yet un-sanctified brokenness with which we still wrestle; we see clearly that Christians, churches and Christianity can disappoint.
My discouragement is the same as yours and at times I’m almost overwhelmed by what I see. But Good news is as much for the church as it is for the world. There is yet hope to be had in the midst of what is often legitimate concern for western Christianity. For me, this hope remains as the prophetic vision that the New Testament offers for how life can be radically and significantly different.
We believe that communities can be real and life giving, that individuals can experience real freedom and that grace can be known in a way that literally transforms everything. There is a wildness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that stands against the disappointment we experience in this life.
Spearheaded by Jesus himself, the New Testament offers us this vision without hesitation and we must hold fast to this in every facet of our lives. If our observations of Christianity promote discouragement, then we have even more reason to proclaim what we believe to be the true potential of God’s people. We must lean into the grace and truth of Jesus with our whole life and seek to experience whatever he has proclaimed for us. We need to remember, proclaim and seek God’s vision for who and what we can become.
It is probable that our lives, communities, ministries, churches and families will never reach perfection in this regard. Most likely, some of this is left for eternity. Yet a lack of perfection must not lead us to a lack of progress. Part of faith is believing that God wants for us what he has already proclaimed and that our submission to his grace will lead us deeper into it.