02 July 2005

What have we got?

Amy has a good, thought-provoking post here.

Faced with a person of obvious holiness, we don't even ask, for a second, to ask them to "prove" what they believe is true, or try to convince them that what they profess is false or wrong-headed...

We ask, "Where does your joy come from? Who gave it to you? Can I meet that person, too?"

While the reflections and observations of my fellow-travelers are indispensable to me, I think that we need to be balanced, and realize that there are people reading our blogs who are going to be turned off by the holier-than-thou tone we end up adopting by default when pointing up the errors of our brethren.

In my town, there is a mega-church. It is a conservative evangelical congregation. They are open to various kinds of Christian expression (one of the only evangelical churches I've ever known with kneelers in the pews - designed that way!). I have great respect for them and have spent many happy hours in their services. And you know what's attractive about them? Their joy. The congregation is full of joy. They help one another and have a thriving round of classes and small groups, music, ministries. They don't do political stuff. They don't inveigh against others' sins, even though there is no question where they stand on pro-life, pro-family issues; they just say, and model, it positively. And when they feel led to meet a need in the congregation or the city, they do it - quietly, modestly, unobtrusively - and with great love and joy.

Amy is right: joy is attractive. Not sniping.

I would like to challenge myself and my fellow bloggers to balance the hand-wringing and trenchant observations with writing which conveys the deep joy which our faith brings us.

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