I never cease to be amazed at some of the "pronouncements" some preachers make when the media places a microphone in front of them. Of course, I'm not high enough on the food chain to have such a microphone placed in front of me, so who knows if I would be different? I surely hope so though.
One brother seems to understand the sovereignty of God as God sending the tornadoes in judgment. I heard another insert the "bullet statements" of the summary of the Gospel in his interview, then proceeded to ram both feet in his mouth by not being consistent in his thoughts on the faith (or lack) of others. Some in the media are always looking for a good show, so I do not doubt these would set things up to get the desired response. Of course, this brings out the critics and defenders and it goes on and on until the next big thing which has been Kony2012.
No doubt all of these touch significant issues. The problems of suffering, what faith means in one's lifestyle, and abuse of children and others are issues worthy of discussion AND action.
Here's my frustration. We Christians seem to be rushing to "respond". And that's usually a dollar short and an hour late. The train has left the station. Elvis is no longer in the building.
My adult vocational career began as a police officer in a large city. I loved it. When the Lord Jesus touched my life in salvation, and then my wife's, and called us to ministry, we were green as a country gourd and really didn't know what to do. We knew we needed an education. Some of the "advice" I received then I would not accept today, but life is filled with impossible "do-overs". All in all, it hasn't been bad.
One of the things I learned on that police department was that the law is only "activated" when one breaks the law. The law is for lawbreakers. Victims are creations of humanity's rebellion against the laws of God. I once looked at my old radio call logs. I averaged a little over one domestic issue call per shift. Violence and theft constituted the majority of calls.
What does this say? It says that the manifestation of sin's behavior is action to control or take from another that which is theirs. It is greed, whether individual or corporate. And I believe that is exactly what the Bible teaches. Sin always, without exception, destroys innocence in one form or another. And it leaves great scars on those sinned against (victims).
Let's make a hard right turn. Here is my concern and application. There is a huge movement in Evangelical church life to restore church discipline. It begins with new member orientation and then proceeds to define in by-laws the process of discipline and sometimes restoration.
My observation is that almost universally what is written is a document that serves not to further the honor of God and restore the sinner to relationship with God, but rather a document that serves to protect the "authority" of leadership and the organization. In addition, I do not believe I am aware of any church discipline against a wealthy donor and only ONE case in my entire life that was done properly from start to finish. And no, the person did not repent.
I submit that church discipline is not the biggest issue in today's church. Rather, it is the desire for control, which is the very essence of sin's manifestation. Look at the context of Matthew 18. It begins with some first century, Spirit un-filled preachers, who wanted greatness. They wanted control. Thus, their question to Jesus about who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
This idea of being great hinders humility. "Great" people often commit great sins. But "appearance" before men often hinders their repentance. And those whom they have sinned against cry out to God for justice day and night. And dear praying friend, take heart and count on it, God will hear your cry and give you justice. His patience is to give sinners every opportunity for repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus said, "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes." I have quoted in the NKJV, but encourage you to read in several. Read the entire context of Matthew 18.
Sound bites, desire for a better brand of convert (my soul, let's just first do all possible to make sure they are a genuine converts in the first place), etc. are old failures. Our memories are short.
Jesus had all authority, and he came as a servant. He never broke a bruised weed nor put out a smoking flax. In other words, the hurting found refuge and safety in him. Do they find refuge in your church? If not, why not? Are you living up to what God's Word says about you? You are the "Body" of Christ. Biblical authority is about servant-hood, not control and domination. Jesus set the bar high. Perhaps our greatest issue is to allow the Spirit of the living God to so control us that we live a servant life, seeking only greatness for the name of Jesus.