The theology of the evangelical movement is one of victory and perpetual growth. The churches’ retreat is an embarrassing secret to be kept in the closet. Yet it is only by facing the truth of where we are that we can go with God where He desires. Jean Vanier points out that on the first Easter the disciples had to let go of their old view of Jesus in order to go forward with the resurrected Jesus.
By clinging to a previous generation’s view of Jesus we become the wicked of Psalm 50 (msg)
“quoting [His] laws, talking like we are good friends, [yet] never answer the door when [He] calls. Treating [His] words like garbage.”
We find ourselves sifting through His words, and only accepting what agrees with our orthodoxy.
This is seen in the message we put out about the way the church is growing. We proclaim victory while turning a blind eye to churches closing and congregations diminishing. Psalm 50 goes on,
“Your mouth drools filth; lying is a serious art form with you. … I kept a quiet patience while you did these things; you thought I went along with your game.”
Having believed our own lies, we presume that God agrees that our lies are justified to keep up moral.
Maybe Jesus is growing His church, but we are so caught up with a false notion of what that means that we are unable to let go and embrace what He is really doing, and rejoice with Him in that?