Friday, August 21, 2015

I Really Do Try To Be Positive, But...

Blogging is a lot of fun. If it wasn't, I wouldn't do it.

Blogging about the church and how it interacts with culture is also enjoyable. Again, if it wasn't, I wouldn't bother. If you read this blog much you may not think that I like writing about church life. I say this because most of my posts (or so it seems) have a negative tone. As this post's title suggests, I really do try to be positive. However, in light of the current state of the church in this country it is difficult to focus mostly on the positive.

I suppose some of this stems from the fact that I was raised in the institution, stayed there for almost forty years, worked as a missionary, and worked as a professional pastor. I've seen most of the problems first-hand. It's not pretty. Meanwhile, much of my experience in simple church life has been theoretical. I know what the bible says about the church; however, I've only been part of simple church practices for a few years. I still have much more information to draw on about the institution than I do about simple church life.

Another reason for my struggle to be positive is that so many people in leadership within the evangelical church have no desire to make needed changes. To use a Southerism, they "just keep on keepin' on." It's the same thing week after week after week after week. The pastor preaches, the people sit dutifully, the babies cry in the nursery, the ushers take up the offering, and nothing of substance happens. Yucky.

In light of my negative bent, I want to do something proactive to change things up. Therefore, beginning soon I'm going to work through the book of Acts, looking for positive aspects of church life that we can apply to today. Starting in chapter one, I'll attempt to glean the positives from the text. I'm going to purposefully ignore the more negative texts, such as Ananias and Sapphira.

I have no idea what will come of this. Maybe I'll transform into a more positive blogger like Dave Black. Maybe not. Either way, a trip through the book of Acts is always a positive trip to take.


Aussie John said...


You're positive that what's negative IS negative :)

Tim A said...

When negative is true it is as positive as positve. Negative and positve are not so much the issue as true and false, holy and substitutes for holy, obedience and alternative obedience. Our cultural addiction to positive only does not match with reality. Both negative and positive are essential parts of walking with God.

Neil Braithwaite said...

Great idea Eric.

But before going through Acts, how about taking a look at all the doctrines, creeds and traditions found in most "churches" to see if they are scriptural or not?

For example: Tithing, the trinity, communion, original sin, etc.

I also agree with Tim A; that pointing out false teachings is positive. If pointing out the truth is "negative," then a lot of what Jesus and the Apostles said and taught was pretty negative.

Jesus and the Apostles warned over and over about false teachings and doctrines and exhorted everyone to adhere very closely to what Jesus taught.

The "positive aspects of the church," as you put it, is the truth - which is in direct conflict and disagreement with the false teachings and doctrines of man that calls itself "church" today.

Are you feeling guilty for being "negative?" Or maybe not as politically correct in your methods? DON'T!

Maybe you need to assess the doctrines that you were taught and continue to believe today?

When I did that, and was honest with myself about what God revealed to me, I began to see God's plan in a totally new light.

And with that, I have no regrets sharing the truth of God's word with anyone - even if sharing the truth makes both of us uncomfortable.

It's the truth that sets men free - not politeness.

Joel Zehring said...

Can't wait to read your thoughts on Acts. I'm on my sixth weekly read through Acts with my LTG group, and God has revealed himself in some exciting ways!

Eric said...


That sounds great. Acts truly is an amazing gift from God to his church. It's too bad that so many believers treat it as simply an historical account.