A talented young believer posted a video of himself delivering a poem last week about what's wrong the Church today and the thing has gone crazy-viral. Nearly 15 million views at this point. Quite remarkable.
Obviously, the piece is connecting with people. I would guess that most are connecting positively because they're interested in seeing a better angle on their Christian faith that's different than what they've been seeing. That desire is always good.
My interest is not the thoughts or offering of the young man who posted it. (I do like that it's an offering of discipleship through art, something that has a long and beautiful history in the church.) My interest is the wild response itself.
Why the huge reaction? One can only guess. So I will.
First, I think it is centered in the wonderful, hopeful and youthful idealism that Jesus is about more than what we get from the Christian establishment.
But this is not new. It is what the Reformation was about. It is what's at the center of every new denominational founding. It was seen in the Jesus Movement, from which I came.
It is what Gandhi was saying when he said he would happily become a Christian if he ever met one.
Same with Bono: "Yeah, I'd break bread and wine. If there was a church I could receive in."
It sounds good and aspirational, but it can also be horribly arrogant. It makes very clear who gets it and who doesn't, elevating "us" over "you people." And doing that has always given us a good feeling. In fact, it was exactly what the Pharisees were about.
You see, Jesus' own circle would not satisfy either Gandhi or Bono because imperfection and short-coming are inherent in anything that involves humans. And the church is God's bride made of exactly that: humans who live ...1
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