Yesterday’s post on the church brings up a good question: how do we critique the church? It certainly needs correction at times.
This is made even harder because many of us have been hurt by the church. The criticism understandably comes with a lot of emotion at times.
Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, has a good post on God-centered anger vs. self-centered anger. “Our world needs more God-centered anger,” he writes. So do our churches.
I find this story of his challenging:
I remember being at a conference years ago when, during the panel discussion between the various speakers, one of the speakers (an editor of a conservative political-theological magazine) was expressing his frustration with many of the political “left-wingers” in an unnecessarily sarcastic and condescending way. When he was finished, John Piper (one of the other speakers sitting on the panel) spoke up and said to the man with the utmost seriousness and precision, “For a long time I have appreciated your ministry. You are an astute observer of our culture. I read your magazine every month. It’s always insightful. But there’s one thing missing from your ministry.” The other speaker looked at Dr. Piper and asked what it was. Piper looked at the man dead in the eyes and in front of 5,000 people said, “Tears!”
That’s the type of anger and critique that the church really needs.