We were having our book club meeting and visible to any who walked by were our copies of The Hiding Place, the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family's story of helping Jews and going to prison during WWII. The man commented to us that he was impressed we were reading about her. Also that he liked Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He mentioned that he thought the church in America was ill, just like back in those days, and he had figured out what was the problem. He wanted to share it with us briefly. Then he began to tell us it was because so many churches had become incorporated as 501c(3) organizations and that limited their ability to preach truth or be involved in politics or other civic issues.
I shook my head, and waited for him to finish. My friends are so gracious and quiet, but I on the other hand cannot let this go. I finally tell him that he has not quite gotten to the heart of the matter. The incorporation issue is just a symptom, I tell him, of heart issues. I quote 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land." "It's us. It's the people of God who are sinning and not humble and won't just obey. So go home and love your wife and your children and obey. Then God will hear and send healing to our land." That's in a nutshell what I told him. Hoping that little by little, bit by bit, precept upon precept, person after person who calls themselves "Christian" will stop looking outside themselves for the thing to try and change, and look inside and start with ourselves and the house of God. It seems easy for all of us to identify the church is ill in our land. It is much more difficult to point the finger at ourselves.