Wretched Radio brought up a good question on today’s (3/6/2012 hour 1) show. It is a question that I’ve had to consider in a practical way over the last couple of years. The question is, if someone is in a bad church or denomination, should one stay in it and try to work to right the church or should one jump ship and instead serve in a church that is healthy.
As one could see in my first two personal posts, I was in a bad church and ended up leaving. (and somehow started an anonymous blog using the moniker of a 16th century theologian) The role I had in the church gave me the opportunity to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to a couple dozen youth in the years that I was in the church, and kept me in the church despite my desire to leave.
As opportunities presented themselves over the years I asked people whom I respect what they think I should do. One told me that he thought working to reform the church from the inside was the best thing to do, and to leave was one of the worst things one could do. Another, who had been in the church in the past but had since moved on for other reasons, told me that I should move on and find something more biblical. One said to eat the meat but to spit out the bones. Some said to run for my life. The host of a popular radio show and blogger said to stay as long as I can to teach the kids, because they wouldn’t get the Gospel from anyone else, but to moonlight at a solid church.
In the end I went with the advice to stick around but moonlight. As providence would have it, the Sunday school teaching gig ended only a few weeks later, and I didn’t even have time to moonlight more than a couple of times. When I no longer had responsibility for that ministry I was relieved to be able to fully move on.
From the personal and practical to the theoretical and likely more interesting though, Joey from Wretched Radio used an analogy of guys riding in the back of a truck that is tilting to the left and about to roll. If you are one of the riders on the right, do you jump to save your life, and allow the truck to tilt further left and increase the likelihood of rolling, or do you stay and risk going down with it?
At what point do you jump ship? What would it take for you to leave? Is there hope for these liberal churches, or are they too lost to be saved?