I'm coming to believe that we ought to just stop it already with our efforts to "protect the reputation of the church." In saying this, I have in mind both the sex abuse crisis in the Southern Baptist Convention and a Quick to Listen episode about NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements)" (Quick to Listen is a podcast by Christianity Today). Here are three quick thoughts about why I'm increasingly skeptical about efforts to protect the reputation of the church.
- It can be really hard to separate the reputation of the church from my reputation as pastor. The most nefarious things out there are the occasions when I use God or the church as an excuse to cover my own sinfulness.
- An awful lot of what is hurting the reputation of churches today consists of things people have done to protect the reputation of a church.
- Jesus built the church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it…what do you think you have to add to that level of protection?
Let's let Jesus worry about the reputation of His church. Let's worry about our personal holiness and our submission to Him, and then let's see if that doesn't work out better.