As I was cleaning out some of my growing pile of files from my two years of schooling, I came across one most dearly important paper and my last before graduation reviewing it again noting the comments by my professor. My thesis was written, aptly entitled Social Crisis in the Early Church, examining social issues affecting the early church in fulfilling its social missions to widows (and orphans) as well as betterment of the overall community that included two distinct groups vying for assistance with some of its membership.
In reflecting on the innovative and new ways to address social issues it seemed that the crisis that sparked the development of two offices within the early church [elders and deacons], seems to have lost much of its focus in dealing with similar situations of community needs seen today. The paper has more specifics that is too long for posting here; however, the comment to a section that I had written is what brought my musings concerning the state of our church body and contemplating the effectiveness (or lack thereof) in addressing the many issues on unemployment, poverty, crime, violence, lack of judgment, spiritually dead, void leadership, with a sense of loss among those who feel despair and confusion wondering ‘where is God?’ The state of the church through out this nation even wonders if the church can be relevant anymore. Then, I hypothesized this question to myself…. if Jesus were to return today to grade the church’s performance, how would the church fare?
As I was reading further, this was the view I posited in a similar manner that provoked my professor’s comments. My professor made a very important point in response to my paper in which he said “Someone once said, if you see a city that is filled with poverty and crime, you see a city where the church has failed”
With that said, how would Jesus grade your church according to His expectations and standards today?