CSFF Blog Tour – The Resurrection by Mike Duran, Day 2

True to his propensity to bring up controversial issues on his blog, Mike Duran introduced a number of topics in his debut novel, The Resurrection, that Christians don’t discuss enough. One was the place of the supernatural in our world today.

A second issue is a little harder to simplify and perhaps also harder to talk about. I’ll call it “weak churches.”

Because most of my adult life I’ve been involved in a strong church, this look at the weak church of Canyon Springs Community in The Resurrection was informative. In many ways it helps me understand a lot of the criticism of the Church today from those who look at traditional church as a problem not an asset to Christianity.

Here are some of the particulars I though Mike uncovered via The Resurrection.

1. Weak churches have weak pastors. This isn’t to point a finger at pastors in general, but in this particular story, the pastor was hired without any apparent concern for the requirements of pastors set out by Scripture. In addition, he had no one who was holding him accountable for where he was spiritually, no one who required him to be a man of integrity. He had no family support, no apparent prayer support from the leadership. Hence, he struggled with his own faith, and the people he opened up to most were pagan or agnostic.

2. Weak churches have a divided or weak leadership team surrounding them. In the fictitious church Mike created, none of the leaders called the others back to Scripture. They had their own issues and agenda that superseded God’s work — not something that makes for a healthy church.

3. Weak churches lose focus. Rather than staying on point — meeting to equip the saints to go out into their work places and homes to make disciples and meeting to worship and praise God — church seemed to deteriorate to a rather meaningless, mindless social event.

4. Weak churches squabble. Again, in this fictitious church, choosing sides and having groups within the church at odds with one another seemed like a familiar situation. The events that stirred controversy and confusion at the beginning of the story apparently were like so many events in the past that had stirred controversy and dissension.

5. Weak churches have weak doctrine. Apparently the people of Canyon Springs Community had no idea what the Bible taught about the miraculous. The issue of truth didn’t seem to be at the heart of the matter.

6. Weak churches have congregants with weak faith. Apparently in all of Canyon Springs Community, only three people turned to God asking for something greater to take place in their church, in their community. Of course, God promises to hear and answer even if we are only two or three. But if we dwindle to that few, we’re experiencing years of weakness.

7. Weak churches erode before they implode. The problems in Canyon Springs Community did not start overnight. They were festering issues passed from one generation to another.

8. Weak churches aren’t vigilant against evil — that which comes from within or from without. In the fictitious assembly in Mike’s story, the people were ignorant of paganism all around them. They were unaware of the duplicity of their leaders and the hurts of their fellow worshippers.

I suspect there are more factors that create weak churches, but those are the ones that came to mind as I looked at Canyon Springs Community.

So, have you ever been in a weak church? Do you think it’s best to stay and pray as Ruby and her friends did or to leave — not as Jack did, but to leave to find a strong church or even to start one?

Be sure to see what others on the tour are talking about. Jason Joyner has a not-to-be-missed interview with The Resurrection author Mike Duran. Bruce Hennigan has a graphic illustration from real life of the spiritual situation depicted in the story. And the tour is welcoming first time poster Cynthia Dyer, who has an excellent debut tour article.

As usual, you can also see the list of participants and links to specific articles that have been posted on my day one post.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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