Are we destroying the church to save it? By Greg Wallace, Op-Ed Contributor for The Christian Post
One of the more famous comments to come out of the Vietnam War is: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” In the so-called culture war in America, it appears that some of us Christians are oblivious to the fact that in our attempts to save the Church, we are destroying it.
In many of our minds, the Church is threatened by wokeness, attacks on religious liberty, and racial Marxism. But the greater threat is the ways in which many of us respond to these issues.
Jesus, the head of the Church, said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.
Yet, as many of us respond to these threats, we are not loving one another. We are demonizing one another. Hating one another. Fighting one another. No wonder fewer Americans claim to belong to the Church.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the share of the adult population who identify as Christian is 12 points lower in 2021 than it was in 2011.
Moreover, there are signs that society’s values are influencing the Church, not vice versa. Bill Haslem, the former Republican governor of Tennessee, notes: “Christians are acting just like everyone else. We’re just as likely to send a nasty message on the internet. We’re just as likely to think we’ve won a battle because we have the most clever rhetoric on Twitter.”[i]
These observations are not meant to minimize the threats to the Church. However, it is to suggest that when our response to these threats is to support candidates regardless of their virtue and to prize “winning” over the display of our Christlike values, our response does more to damage the mission of the Church than these threats ever could.