Our staff is reading Deep & Wide, the amazing book by Andy Stanley. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE! It is an important read for anyone who cares about the future of the church.
It's hard to choose quotes from this book because I soon realized I was underlining about 90% of everything in it. But, today, this part stuck out to me.
I grew up around people who believed the church was for saved people who ACTED like saved people. I'm all too familiar with that church brand. The catch was that they were the ones who decided what act like a saved person meant. They got to determine which sins saved people could commit and which ones were evidence of being UNsaved. Oddly enough, the lists changed every few years. Worse, the lists never coincided with any of the sin lists in the New Testament. ..... SO, those who were actually "tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt fightings and fears within, without" didn't feel free to talk about their fightings and fears in those churches. Instead, they covered everything up. Which, of course, made everything worse. Covering up may keep the person in the good graces of the church, but it only fuels the power of whatever sin one is covering up. Churches designed for SAVED people are full of hypocrites.You pretty much have to be a hypocrite to aprticipate. Transparency and honesty are dangerous in a church created for church people. Consequently, the casualty in a church for church people is grace. It's hard to extend grace to people who don't seem to need it. And it's hard to admit you need it when you aren't sure you'll receive it.
Go to Amazon and order this book! Do it!!