It’s no wonder that so many people get fed up with religion.
Headline news detailing division within denominations is hardly the sort of thing which would attract non-believers to attend church. Instead, all that such public rows will achieve is cause people outside of the church to become even more turned off than ever – and no one should be surprised.
The arguments over church structure, and ongoing political disagreements within the Church of England are doing nothing to represent what Christianity should be about, and that’s the sad result of some of the stories in the news this week.
For anyone who is either unfamiliar with the Christian faith or against it altogether, it would be easy to look at the kind of arguments taking place amongst senior figures in the Church of England and use it as a reference to what Christianity is.
Far more useful would be to completely ignore the sort of issues that have gained publicity over recent days – such as the debate over women bishops – and explore what being a Christian, a follower of Jesus, is really about. (A book like CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity is as good as any if you are someone who truly wishes to understand the faith)
One story that hasn’t had quite so much coverage is that of an interview involving Fabrice Muamba, broadcast on Premier Radio on Monday.
Many people will be aware that Muamba was the Premier League footballer who collapsed during a match last season, and whose heart stopped for 78 minutes.
During the interview, Muamba spoke of his faith generally, and a miracle recovery which he believes God to have had a hand in. He spoke of his intentions to carry out the plans that he believes God has for his life – to testify what God has done in his own life, and to share the gospel and tell others of how God can work in their lives too.
It’d be nice if that was a message which was more often communicated by the church, rather than bitter arguments over the particular structure of the church that each of its members want in place.
There are plenty of other people out there like Fabrice Muamba, each of whom have their own testimonies.
It’s important that testimonies like that of Muamba and others are heard far more loudly than the unhelpful church squabbles that continue to gain more coverage than they deserve, and which provide a thoroughly inaccurate and unhelpful view of what the Christian faith is all about.