Is it just me or is anyone else tired of hearing the same old talk that oversimplifies the teaching of scripture and the problems of human beings? Alas it is no wonder that people are confused as to what it means to be a Christian and some are embarrassed by the examples of those who claim biblical authority for their silly assertions. How often is Christianity seen by those looking on from the outside as conservative or liberal politics dressed up in religious language? How often is it identified by weird looking clothes, battles of which Bible version gets it right, how husbands and wives relate to one another, the catechizing of little children, or alternative educational options? Where can we find leaders who are their own people instead of poor imitations of those they long to emulate? People who will think for themselves and address in new and fresh ways the challenges of their own unique situation? The Bible can be understood at one level by a child, but the interpretation and application of the Bible to real life and the very real questions being asked today is not a job for children.
Today we desperately need people who have the breadth of experience and training to address in an intelligent way the life with all of its complexity. We cannot afford to "cherry-pick" certain passages and concepts and then identify them with the gospel and neglect all of the surrounding texts and implications that cry for careful attention. I am not even sure that the modern concept of building churches and the leadership structure that goes along with it is what was envisioned in the gospel at all, and most certainly the way we "do church" is only part of a much larger picture. Although it may come as a shock to those who fancy themselves God's representatives on earth, the prevailing view of God is often too small and consequently our Christian vision is not all that it should be. The God of the Bible is Lord of heaven and earth but you would never know that from the truncated version of the gospel that is dispensed in his name. Surely we can do better. New coalitions need to be formed where these matters can be discussed and appropriate action taken.