Christians talk a lot about sexual purity. We talk a lot about being pro-life. Yet we’ve ignored the chasm of understanding between these two issues – issues that are integrally connected not just in reality, but in our spiritual lives. We brandish our “pro-life” monikers as if it’s a given – we’re Christians, after all! – yet fail to understand what sanctity of life looks like day-to-day.
The truth is this: “Pro-life” is not just a political viewpoint. It is a lifestyle.
A pang strikes my heart every time I write about the church. It’s the same discomfort I get when confronting a friend about a sin issue; a necessary pain. I wouldn’t want to take joy in correcting a flawed ideology, but neither should I ignore anything that hinders the gospel’s advance.
But in writing about the church – from women’s ministry to the millennial message – I have a weighty responsibility. The church is not a building, after all. The church is people. The church is me.
A change of emphasis has taken place. The words, the affirmations, the identities and monikers – many of them are biblical and true. The problem lies – once again – not in whether or not the message is true but whether our overt focus on it has handicapped our spiritual maturity.
I believe it has. It is the millennial gospel – good feelings, good music, real people, and “rawness”. The not-so-good news? It’s incomplete.
There was a time when legalists were easy to identify.
They were the ones more interested in “Sunday best” than repentant hearts; more concerned about music and movies than an inner transformation. They judged by outward appearance and were, in turn, judged lacking in both truth and grace.
Gen-Xers and millennials know them well. We grew up hearing about them, and watched the church shift and buckle under the weight of change. It was a good change, for the most part. It exposed things. It revealed how church had become more about doing and being “good” than about God being good in us.
That morning in my quiet time, I prayed for humility. I asked God to saturate my life and ministry with it; to protect me from the dangers of pride. Six hours later more steam was coming out my ears than off the onions, and I was convinced it was all Josh’s fault.
We all know we need humility. Christ Himself exemplified it and provided a model for us to follow. So we pray for it periodically, asking God to “make us humble” without really grasping what it is we ask.