Let the Inquisition Begin
However, before these waters get too deep, let me clarify a few sides to the argument of the church's image problems. Some think that image shouldn't matter. Let me say that they're right and put that one aside for a second. Some say that we should have an image that caters to the demographics that have not been reached on a mainstream basis for the past forty-or-however-many years. Yeah, they're right too. And those whose ideas remain unspoken and unwritten and reciprocally enforced with great vindication, they "say" that our image should be that which caters to tradition. Yeah, they're right. Oh, and by the way.....they're all wrong. Do any of these point of view matter? Yes and no. Yes, because "a grape vine cannot bear figs." Yes, because "you will know them by their love." And no, because those who will have opinions will always have opinions. Those who judge will always judge.
That said, what does it say when we are condemning the sins of the flesh but ignoring the sin that has crept into the spirit? What does the new convert think about the concepts of conscience and guilt when they were brought to Christ through a message that, without direct words, presents the case that "those who party go to Hell." Where are the new adopted sons who find out that Jesus is a man who is God and that God is Love and that I don't understand it all as much as you might think I do or as much as I believe I do? Why is the talent of people thrown into an alternative to an "evil" holiday where kids are supposed to have fun? Why do we condemn a day when people dress up as witches because "those who practice witchcraft will have no place in the kingdom of God," and see no problem with the commercialization of Christmastime when "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?" Holidays always seem to bother me when I see the things that are celebrated. This year, I think Judgement Houses have fallen fodder to that.
Fear-induced salvation seems a bit too like unto lighting a campfire match in a rainstorm. You might get the match started, but you're never going to light a fire. Yes, God uses those salvations, but still, what sort of theology is that? I pose this question and pass you this article. I think my favorite part is the last paragraph. Scroll down to the second section on Judgement Houses called "Hell Hath Fury." Read on.
All right, I'm done.