is the church "staind?"

i love staind, i love the music and the lyrics can be powerful. recently, in the every popular discussion of the church and her huge flaws, i started to think of the staind song "outside." as the words were dancing in my head, the song came on the radio on my drive home from the church building this morning - and they spoke to me in a great way.

i think many people look at the church and say:

I'm on the outside
I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside you're ugly
Ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

this is a very powerful statement to the church, and i am certain staind did not intend it to be. but think about how many people are on the outside of the church looking in and asking the question, "if you are no different than i am, why should i join you?" think about that. what does the church offer people? what does the christian faith offer people? in a world of abuse, use, hurt, pain and anger at what level is the church different then the world around us? the idea that "we are a fallen people" does little to those seeking a safe place from the hurts of this world.

if we are no different then those looking in, if we are just as ugly as the world around us, what value does our faith offer to those around us? right now, i think the only thing many churches offer people is the opportunity to join a country club, and become a "wet non-changed person." we say, "come into a safe place" but when they do, they do not find safty. they find people who are willing to inflict pain on the hearts and spirits of others.

when we tell people our faith has meaning, it needs to be a real meaning, a real change - we need to be different people. we can not treat people like those outside the church, when people look inside they need to see beauty, and they need to see a difference. people are searching, looking for a place that is different from the world around them, and they are looking at the church and not seeing what they are searching - and we need to be asking why?

you see, we can turn away from this and write it off to the "fallen world" but that is an excuse and not where we are to be as followers of christ. we should use romans 12:2; "do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." as a people of christ we must be transformed, we must be different, we must be changed - not living in this world, but in the teachings of christ.

i live what paul writes in his second letter to the corinthians [3:18] "and we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." when we walk with christ in our hearts, we are changed, new, differet - if not, than we offer nothing to those seeking to know God. paul shares this even deeper when he writes to the romans, "so what do we do? keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? i should hope not! if we've left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? that is what happened in baptism. when we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace--a new life in a new land!" [6:1-4] too many churches and "christians" still desire to live in that "old house."

i find it funny that when i call into question the "evangelcial church" those who are "evangelical" try hard to justify the actions of the church with "cultural reasoning" and not a bibical stand point. and they rag on us for not being "bible centered" - so figure.

what do people see when they look into your church, from the outside?

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