The second view of the church by those leaving it or not bothering to consider attending it is that it is nothing more than a political and/or social action committee. Social action issues dominate the agenda and are the prime responsibility of these churches. The political process fascinates the leaders of these churches. They are often actively involved in supporting or fighting hot political issues. But, in a place that is suppose to foster relationships, they often divide people by the approach that they take.
People, the masses of people who are hungry for meaning and purpose, want spiritual growth. But these churches are feeding them a steady, force-fed diet of social issues and actions. Take a look at this list of church priorities gleaned from recent magazine articles:
- a response to racism
- becoming more multicultural
- same-sex unions
- ordination of gays and lesbians
- sexuality studies
- poor and vulnerable populations
- child feeding programs in schools
- needs of elderly people
- church-wide evangelism strategy
- advocacy for people living in poverty
- world hunger
- refugee resettlement programs
- protecting civil liberties of all people
- Israel and Palestine
- international debt relief
- legalized gambling
- social statement of the conditions of prisons
- war and peace
Of course, these issues and others are important. I am not saying that churches should never be involved in addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues and problems. In fact, encouraging people to talk about issues like these can be a healthy, effective way to engage people and stay relevant. But, if these things are the main priority, then they are supplanting the need to let people experience God and grow closer to each other.
Churches should draw people together – not draw lines in the sand. It should bring people of many opposing viewpoints together so that they become lasting, supportive friends in the Name of Jesus.
Again, let’s ed with a reminder from Scripture: Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)