I think the Bible says we should do it this way.
That’s not the way I see it. What about you?
These and many other questions came from an acquaintance over time. She was questioning the way things were done, wondering if there was a better way. It wasn’t about my church, but church as a whole.
I thought it was important to listen. We talked. I shared my viewpoint. We looked into scripture.
But over time the questions changed.
Church was lame. Christians didn’t do things the way she would. This pastor was politically incorrect.
One day I sat in a drama. I looked around. We’ve already done this, I thought. Is this too showy? Shouldn’t we be feeding the poor with this money?
Sitting behind me was a row of 10 teenagers. It was evident that they hadn’t been in a church much from the conversation. As the cross was portrayed, one said, “Nah, they didn’t do that. Did they?” Another responded when Jesus healed the tormented man with a surprised “Oh, wow.”
I was no longer the woman who had seen the drama a hundred times. I was seeing it through the eyes of a group of boys, sitting in a crowded church hearing the gospel unfold for the first time.
But I was also seeing me. And I didn’t like what I saw.
Over time my own focus had shifted from what was good to all the things we did wrong as the church.
“Man, take your cap off,” one teen said behind me.
I listened as a few of the teens repeated a prayer with the pastor. New life had just taken place.
Tears ran down my face as I prayed my own prayer, asking for forgiveness for a critical spirit.
Do I believe that we should be readers, that we should understand other cultures, that we should ask hard questions if doctrine strays from scripture? Do I believe that we should dig into scripture and understand our faith?
The answers to all of these is yes.
But when it strays from critical thinking to just being critical, it becomes a heart issue.
And thank God that He loves us enough to point out the difference.