We like to think of ourselves as free moral agents with the ability to control our own destinies. We don’t want to have anyone tell us what we can or can’t do. We are taught that such freedom is our birthright and no-one should be able to take this away from us.
For those of us whose worship traditions place an emphasis on Biblical teaching and preaching, we should ask ourselves if we are caught in dead orthodoxy, imbalanced orthodoxy or clueless orthodoxy as Keller lists them above.
But those of us who are in Christ and have accepted his provision for us have had that guilt removed. We are no longer under condemnation (see Romans 8:1). We can begin to rise above the misery of this life and experience joy in our relationship with God.
Churches can have an inward focus (all about nurturing the members) and/or an outward focus (all about reaching those outside the church). It is my belief that in a healthy church, these two should both be present. I have been to churches that were so focused on body life that they became ingrown and unfriendly to outsiders. […]
As Clowney points out, when this happens it is a sign of spiritual decay. It is a sign that the leaders of those churches lost sight of their true purpose.
Malcolm Muggeridge has written, “The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.” One does not have to work very hard to find evidence that something is very broken in the world. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that there is something very broken inside of us.