Move over McLaren. Look out Derek Webb. Make room Mr. Barna. Heads up Campolo. Check it out Tony Jones.
You've probably noticed it's popular to be critical of the bride of Christ these days. Some do it well, and lead towards encouragement, growth, and maturity. Some have helped us make great steps towards doing "church" better as the Church. And then...some have just simply slammed the church, and left her beaten in the street....convinced she can't possibly be the Church.
As it turns out, those doing it currently are echoing sentiments that have been out there for quite sometime. As I mentioned recently, I read "The Grand Inquisitor" last week. As a standalone section in the book, I can understand why people think it's important. It is quite deep, and can be read over and over again, and lead to some very helpful prayers.
But over the weekend, I continued reading finally. I have to say, I'm disappointed. Disappointed that "The Grand Inquisitor" got all the hype, most likely due to the same reason it's becoming a fad to diss the church still today. The section immediately following is quite a few pages dedicated to the great monk in the story, Zosima. These pages contain very challenging/encouraging words, and sentences that can pack a lot of seeds for growth. If I had to choose a section of "The Brothers Karamazov" that I could read over and over again, it'd be those pages for sure. I'll leave you with a brief example:
"He accumulates wealth in solitude, thinking: how strong, how secure I am now; and does not see, madman as he is, that the more he accumulates, the more he sinks into suicidal impotence. For he is accustomed to relying only on himself, he has separated his unit from the whole, he has accustomed his soul to not believing in people's help, in people or mankind, and now only trembles lest his money and his acquired privileges perish." Page 303, Brothers Karamazov
"Be glad as children, as birds in the sky. And let man's sin not disturb you in your efforts....do not say, "Sin is strong, impiety is strong, the bad environment is strong, and we are lonely and powerless...Flee from such despondency, my children!" Page 320, Brothers Karamazov
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