New Year’s Repentance

It’s New Year’s Day and its that time of the year again to make resolutions hoping to change for the better. Below is an interesting resolution that I would like to share a nifty insight from one of the largely misunderstood personalities in the Evangelical world –Brian McLaren, who I believe helped me face the brutal truth of escapism in me and in the Christian faith that I adhere to:
Christians (rightly) tell non-Christian individuals they must repent to be “born again”” You must repent to enter the kingdom of God. You must repent, or you will perish. Now it is time for us Christians to practice our own preaching. We need to look back over our corporate history so far, and facing our failures and atrocities both ancient and recent, we need to repent. In terms of Gerald May’s definition of denial (from Addiction and Grace, Harper 1991), we Christians cannot continue to avoid knowing what we already know: that something is rotten in the state of our religion.

We must not separate ourselves from the past and present Christian failures and atrocities in a holier-than-thou-schism, suggesting that “they” did it –Catholics, medievals, fundamentalists, liberals, whoever –not us. We must not indulge in a naïve-and-arrogant protest, denouncing the failures of our forebears or cousins in the faith with sufficient vehemence to somehow exonerate ourselves. No, rather, we need to say that those bad guys back there or over there are “us,” here, now. We need to say, as the people did in Nehemiah’s day, that we are no better than our fathers (Nehemiah 9). Only that kind of repentance will enables Christians to be truly born again in any way that matters.1

1 McLaren, Brian. A Generous Orthodoxy. (Zondervan 2004) pp.303-304

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