The ‘Jeykll and Hyde’ Church: The Long Journey Back to Our Mission

Why does it seem the church is unable to be who she is called to be?

Nearly 135 years ago, British missionary C.T. Studd traveled to China to share the gospel message with those who had never heard. His spirit was both a reflection of the fervor of God’s people for millennia and also a forerunner for us today as we rediscover anew what the gospel looks like in today’s ever-evolving culture.

Studd was onto a critical mindset when he explained, “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell, but I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” This, I am convinced, must be our heart cry if we are to show and share the love of Jesus with any kind of authenticity, integrity, and humility today.

As editor of The Exchange, I confess I have laid my head in my hands more often than I can count as I have scanned news reports of church failings. So too I have shed tears over the atrocities such as pornography, child exploitation and bullying that have casted a very long shadow over a land that is covered by the beauty of God.

Why does it seem the church is unable to be who she is called to be—to rise above the horrors around us and to proclaim goodness and presence to any and all who will hear? Why do we remain silent, too often so affixed to our own selves that we have lost the awe of our mission, of our God?

Torn between…what?

This is not new. For as long as humanity has existed, we have failed God. We have stumbled in our mission and led people astray. We have clutched our fists so tightly around our beliefs that we’ve become impotent in loving those unlike us. For this, we always and continually lament.

But for as long as humanity has existed, we have also pleased God. We have stumbled our way to seeking after him and following him. We have …

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