John Cooper, the lead singer of Skillet, shared some concerns and thoughts around a recent series of “famous Christians” falling away. His post really got me thinking on this.
With well-known pastors, heads of a denomination/network of churches, worship songwriters, and musicians and more publicly announcing they are no longer ascribing Christians.
Several seem to be headed toward atheism, while others still profess Jesus but are abandoning the title to shed themselves of typical standards of the faith – LGBTQ issues especially.
My heart hurts for these public figures. I am hopeful as I see them questioning everything. It is healthy and good to always be open for discovery. Doing things the way they’ve always been done can be mindless and inaccurate.
Others well-known figures may be burnt out on creating the experiences – how to craft a great sermon, set the stage for a fantastic Sunday gathering at church, or write a catchy tune that seems to ignite our senses and thoughts during worship music. The focus seems to be on the doing, and not on the personal experience with God. While we’ve created a wonderful, expressive, and engaging atmosphere – we’ve missed the point in our pursuit.
The basis of belief in Jesus is more than the songs we sing, the teaching we receive, the style of music, lights, or any other aesthetics around us.
Our faith is built first upon a deep and personal experience with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Then, we share that faith with one another (take your part in being the church) and also we share that faith with others. We tell others about the goodness of God in our lives.
When we’ve become so focused on all the rest of the methods and efforts but fail to lay it all down to just be with Him and each other, we lose sight of what really matters.
Whatever we’ve focused on that missed the point, whatever we’ve taught that we no longer believe, and whatever doubts we may have – lay it down. Share each and every experience and concern with the God you have known. Then find some others to share life with. The goal here isn’t to be reinforced or somehow corrected, create some experience for them in their faith, or receive any personal notoriety. The goal is to experience life together and encounter Jesus through each other.
I don’t have answers to the main points people have brought up for abandoning the “Christian” community. I do have hope, a desire for a more authentic community, and excitement that we are addressing so many issues.