Grateful For Faith Building Challenges

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you.” Jonah 2:8 and 9

I am grateful this year for challenges faced by the American church. These challenges brought out a mean, ugly side that in no way resembles the Jesus that I know. Bits of my own theology revealed itself to be flawed. My eyes would not blink away the film unless this deep schism occurred. Jesus is the the only One Who is great and perfect. This I already knew. The Fall caused all things and systems to be flawed and broken. The Church is no different. The past five years and the leaders involved only called out the sin nature that was hiding in plain sight. The racism was already there. (I’m Mexican American so this I knew from personal experience.) The deception and idolatry were already there. (Years in a public ministry family exposed me to the terrible underbelly of American churches and ministries.)

My world was rocked by the awful words spoken and written by friends, family and ministry leaders that I respected. The Jesus that I walked with was nowhere to be seen. I expected better of these people. So I followed with my spiritual nose the holy scent of my Savior. I found Him in places I would never have expected before. People that were demonized by some Christian leaders turned out to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Groups that were accused of destroying America and the church were walking in the love of Christ in the face of hate.

Jonah’s world was rocked, too. He was found by a loving God Who was and still is more merciful than he had any idea. So maybe the American Church is in the belly of a fish. Bad beliefs are being shattered as we all wait for the day when we see the light and become a new church that does not resemble the old. In the meantime may we learn to see each other as people and listen to one another without anything but kind words waiting inside of us while we are all hopefully wearing a mask.