Do you ever get really discouraged about the state of the modern church? I sure do. I think it is partly my personality type, as I can be a rather melancholy soul. Recently I was catching up on my reading of the magazine Christianity Today, and some thoughts in an article gave me a new perspective.
In an article entitled “The Future of Today’s Christianity” (by Mark Galli and Andy Crouch, March 2013 issue), they review some of the good and bad about the North American evangelical church. Then, comes this paragraph:
As Fuller seminary’s Richard Mouw likes to say “The church is in really bad shape today. It’s almost as bad as it was in the first century.” The church that Christ promised to build survived the license of Corinth, the legalism of Galatia, and the lukewarmness of Laodicia. It will survive, and more than survive, in our time, because it is not built by human hands but by Christ himself. He constantly renews and reforms his people. He breathes new life and new forms into being in response to institutional decay. And every day he calls sinners from every nation to himself, transforming them into sons and daughters in a new family.
Somehow I’d never really thought of it that way before! It can be easy to have an idealized view of the past, forgetting the problems, but the church throughout time has had problems. Yet, it has prevailed, and this can point us to the supernatural nature of the church and Christ’s work in it. This can give us hope for the future, instead of sending us into a “woe is me” mentality. Right?