Written by Dave Burchett
Once the word gets out that I am a practicing “evangelical,” I get lots of comments about the church. I hear about hypocrites in the church and about national leaders whose lives fall far short of their rhetoric. A lot of the comments are true. So how do you handle those accusations? Ideally you can reach a point where you can explain the Christian theology of original sin and that redemption is only because of Christ and not because of works. But the old bumper sticker argument that “I am not perfect . . . just forgiven” is not a compelling defense for those who don’t understand the gospel and who witness the daily shortcomings of Christians.
I thought about a church in my town that decided last fall to own up to their failures. They made a bold decision to confess in humility and see what might happen.
The headline in an ad that ran in The Dallas Morning News screamed out in big, bold letters:
We Were Wrong
We followed trends when we should have followed Jesus. We told others how to live but did not listen ourselves. We live in the land of plenty, denying ourselves nothing, while ignoring our neighbors who actually have nothing. We sat on the sidelines doing nothing while AIDS ravaged Africa. We were wrong; we’re sorry. Please forgive us.
That is a powerful and sobering admission. I was shocked. And I was greatly encouraged by the courage and the humility needed to admit such an embarrassing message to the public.
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