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As I read Erwin McManus’ book on the church entitled An Unstoppable Force, I have to say I was hit hard by a statement near the beginning, where he said: “The indictment that we must receive is that the Christian faith as we express it is no longer seen as a viable spiritual option. Masses gave the church a try and left wanting. We accuse them of not being willing to surrender to God; they accuse us of not knowing him. People are rejecting Christ because of the church. Once we were called Christians by an unbelieving world, and now we call ourselves Christians and the world calls us hypocrites. Is it possible that it wasn’t the nation that was becoming dangerously secular but the church? We were neither relevant nor transcendent. We have become, in the worst of ways, religious. We are the founders of the secular nation.”

What an indictment But I believe that he may be putting his finger on where the problem possibly lies. The world is drawn to Jesus (as we saw when millions went to see Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ), but the world is often put off by the church. We have to take an honest look to see why this is happening. Are we fulfilling the mission and purpose of the church, or have we missed it in some significant way? Are we turning people to Christ or turning them away from him? It is an uncomfortable question we must face.

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