Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. —Jim Morrison
A while back, I was invited to join a group of local pastors for the prescreening of The Passion of the Christ. I even got to meet Mel Gibson during our Q&A afterward. One of the pastors asked, “Mel, can you tell us what rating the movie will have?”
Mel said he was pretty certain the movie would receive an R rating.
The pastor responded, “Well, if you can’t get a PG-13 rating, we won’t be sending people from our church. We don’t allow our people to see R-rated movies.”
Wow. We don’t allow our people… Who has that kind of power?
Recently, I read several blogs discussing the authors’ reasons for leaving the church. At first, I was frustrated. Anyone can kick down a barn, but it takes an architect to build one. Where were all the hip, young bloggers writing about reconstruction?
While sharing my frustration, a few friends challenged me to think about what these writers were saying. My friends reminded me that if it’s true the Church is losing this generation, then there might be some helpful stuff in those blogs.
So I thought about it. It was true. But why?
- Why is the Church losing ground in culture?
- Why is the Church impotent to change culture?
- If Jesus leaves us here on earth so He can influence and change people through us, then why isn’t it going better?
There are a number of ways to answer these questions, but I believe it boils down to one best answer found in the phrase, We don’t allow our people…
For when the Church cultivates rule keepers, rule keepers soon become rule police. And rule police have a hard time loving rule breakers in the way Jesus wants us to love rule breakers.
The next generation is able to see this struggle in the Church—the struggle to love rule breakers—and they are calling us on it. Calling us back to the way of grace.
Jesus, am I a kicker or a builder? Am I a rule keeper, or am I allowing the Gospel of grace to rule my life? Love the next generation through me! Love the Church through me! Love the rule breakers through me! Make my life an invitation to grace. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?