I Finally Figured Out What Is Really, Really Wrong With the Church

March 11, 2015

We bloggers can a funny bunch of people sometimes.VH_iStock_700x330px_0000117

Especially those of us who blog a lot about topics related to the American church.

Always in search of fodder for writing, there is no shortage of blogs that have been written about what is wrong with the church. Every so often, there is a public departure by a prominent Christian from some wing of Christianity. Or a leader will explain why he isn’t going to church these days. And a whole bunch of us will talk about what this means for the church. My own keyboard has not been exempt from these activities.

But I’ll tell you something.

I think I finally figured it out.

I figured out exactly what is wrong with the church.

That’s right, I have found the source of its problems. I have discovered what is making it be the monster that we have made it out to be.

Maybe we can put this discussion to rest.

Because I have figured out, once and for all, what is wrong with the church.

I must confess something.

I must confess that I am a sinner, in thought, word and deed.

There are many things I have done. And many more things I have left undone.

And all of these taken together have made me the problem with the church.

For example, I have not loved God with my whole heart. I know, that’s like Christianity 101, but I often haven’t done it.

When I go to church, my thoughts are often distracted by other, lesser things. I am worried about my own ambitions rather than God’s. I have prayed selfish prayers and sang selfish songs to try to get my way.

I have been prideful, convinced that my own way was the right way, convinced that I was the smartest guy in the room and that I had it all figured out before age thirty.

I have not loved my neighbor as myself either, despite repeated exhortations to do so.

I have often been more concerned that the people in my church look like me than that they look like Jesus. I want people to agree with me, because that is easy. I have pushed away people who do not agree with me, because it’s more convenient that way. I tell myself that people who do not agree with me are not really Christians. I have fantasized about a mystical group of Christians who all agree with me, because that would be so wonderful, but alas, I have not found it yet.

I have been frustrated, unforgiving, even hateful toward people in my heart, even in church. I have wondered what is wrong with people that they cannot see things my way. I have been quick to assume that they must not be “real” Christians. Maybe they are just too stubborn or selfish or stupid to see things my way. Maybe they come from a selfish generation of people, or a generation who lacks vision or zeal. Those kinds of generations can be such a pain.

I have worried about the splinters that I see in my neighbor’s eyes from across the room. But I have also worried way too much about what all those people thought of me. I have often been far more concerned with my reputation than with what God thinks of me.

I have looked for faults wherever I can find them. I have nitpicked everything, which is not a very good way to live, because I end up doing the same to myself. It’s a good recipe for self-loathing.

Even as a leader, I left many things unsaid, and many things undone. My testimony did not always draw people closer to the truth.

I have worried about my own small problems, rather than the much larger problems that other people face. I have constantly embraced the privilege I have been born to, while complaining that my life is not just a little bit more privileged. I have ignored needs and injustices because confronting them was inconvenient or it did not advance my own little personal agenda.

I constantly justify myself. I tell myself that this is just the way I am, and people need to be more accepting and understanding of me. I blame them for not understanding me when I choose to be remote and aloof.

I have asked God with false incredulity, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” while feeling wholly justified at making myself my brother’s judge. I much prefer the role of judge to neighbor.

It appears that on close examination, the problem appears to be me.

I am what is wrong with the church. I am the problem.

I am sorry about that.

I let you down.

But at least, perhaps we can start to resolve this conversation. We can stop looking for the answer. Because, I admit it, I am the problem with the church.

4 responses to I Finally Figured Out What Is Really, Really Wrong With the Church

  1. Matt – you nailed it. This is a pervasive problem of the human condition. We demand our version of justice and fairness from others, but we want the maximum allowance of grace and mercy applied to our own circumstances.

    I am the problem in the church, in my family, and in my community.
    KC recently posted..9 Marriage Survival Tactics from 9 Years in the Trenches

    • I have been a missionary/Pastor for 40 years, mostly in Japan, a bit in the Philippines, and of course in my own country (USA). I have been SICKENED by the bad example my “so called Christian” country has presented to so many “non-believers” from its “ABUNDANT LIFE”doctrine to promote riches for its TV evangelists and money hungry Pastors, to its pro Israel “we gotta back the Zionist rejectors of Christ and give them all the money and military protection they need” (even though their secret doctrines of the TALMUD tell them its OK to kill off the GOYIM (non-Jews) and hate Christians without any guilty feelings. Our nation and its politics has USURPED the will of GOD in our lives! The early church (Christian JEWS!) EXPLODED on the scene and turned their world rightside up simply because the disciples of Christ OBEYED and BELIEVED what Jesus said. The early Christians were RADICAL Christians in that “all that believed were together (Jews & non Jews were living together and working hard for Jesus at a threat to their very lives) and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need”, Acts 2:45-46. You could say that this was a sort of “Christians COMMUNISM” and it was such a POWERFUL example that what Christ did for us was SO RADICALLY DIFFERENT that EVERYONE was talking about it. So not just unbelieving Jews, but unbelieving, disobeying Christians failed to follow GOD. We let our politicians decide how to run things. But when you search a bit, you see that the FINANCIAL GIANTS have bought our own leaders out and forced them to vote in and follow unGodly practices that have polluted Christianity so much that they would actually HELP the rise of the antiChrist. If the rejectors of Christ are STILL in rebellion to the will of God that THEIR leaders started, then WHY DO YOU FOLLOW THEM instead of CHRIST? Is it because the have the wealth and political clout to make or break you, depending on whether to obey them or not? THIS IS A POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS HIJACKING! If you help them destroy their neighbors, you are disobeying “LOVE THY NEIGHBOR”…IF YOU disobey “Thou shalt not kill” you part with GOD and CHRIST and start a BLOOD FEUD that will destroy ALL the good the OBEDIENT Christians are doing. You OFFEND the very people you say you are trying to save, by aligning yourselves with the wicked. READ THE TALMUD to know the REAL belief system of Israel’s ZIONIST leadership. They don’t just want Palestine, they want to ENLARGE Israel to its old borders….all the way down to Jordan, Syria, Iran. SO the HELL of the genocide of the Palestinians will be on the hands of USA taxpayers who pay for those wars and murder. How much more will our country go into debt and how many more of our sons must die by helping disobedient rebellious ISRAEL continue to function. Their leaders rejected their own prophets, beating and killing them, and did the same with their MESSIAH JESUS CHRIST! Now they await their “true messiah” who will turn out to be the FALSE USURPER…Satan incarnate who will fulfill the prophecies of Daniel, and Christ. Get your facts straight Christian people! STOP turning the world against Christ by your mistaken doctrines.

  2. High five!
    Amanda recently posted..Day 4 // 8:53am

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  1. Recommended reading | Down the Road - March 14, 2015

    […] Preacher Matt Appling considers what is wrong with the church today and he concludes that it is him. And, well, you — but he doesn’t want to come right out and say it. Read I Finally Figured Out What Is Really, Really Wrong With The Church […]