Churches should be vibrant communities of Christians who love God and who are seeking to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. There should not be a big disconnect between what they do and say on Sunday and how they live the rest of the week. Nor should it seem as if we are going back in time when we enter a church service. It is an interesting but discouraging exercise to listen to churchy lingo that flows from the lips of the initiated without any awareness that there are people in attendance who have no idea what they are talking about because no one, including the speaker, talks like that at any other time. It is all very strange.
Then there are those who add to the gospel their particular brand of political, economic or social theory, or those who think the Bible is as patriarchal and chauvinistic as they are and wonder why people walk away shaking their heads at this boorish display of cultural insensitivity. Outspoken, pugnacious preachers and teachers will always attract a loyal following, but that does not mean they are right. And for all their supporters they will turn off many more who need the biblical gospel and not a truncated, parochial version of it. The last thing we need today are those who major on minors. The need of the hour is for those who see the bigger picture and are able to articulate the truth faithfully in light of our current situation. What worked in the past does not always work today and it is a crying shame when we put unnecessary obstacles in the way of others. There is enough of an "ouch" to the biblical gospel -- all other "ouches" are unnecessary.