Two headlines. Splashed across the homepage of Christianity Today. One tragic; the other triumphant. The first a bold proclamation: “Rick Warren’s Final Frontier – Saddleback wants to bring the gospel to the world’s 3,400 unengaged people groups. Why it just might work.” The second a shattering revelation: “Rick Warren’s Son Dies from Suicide.”
How do we reach the world when we can’t even reach our own?
Where does boldness become arrogance. Where does humility trip and tumble into defeat?
This isn’t a post about Rick Warren. This is me wondering what goes on inside us when the really bad stuff hits home. The industrial religious complex of evangelicalism churns out Idea after Big Idea on how we’re going to win the world for Christ, and yet we are losing our own children and losing our own hearts. Sons stray. Pastors fornicate. Evangelists lie. Flocks sleep in and watch football.
Maybe instead of strategizing, we should be repenting. Maybe instead of being cool and relevant, we should make ourselves nothing. I’m not saying whether we are or aren’t doing such things, but I can’t help asking, do we give ourselves too much credit – for the good, and also for the bad?
God gives victory. God gives trials. God gives choices. And in the midst of it all, we stand here like Job, mournful, angry, desperate, confused, certain of our righteousness, and boiling over with questions that seem to have no answers.