“Complaining is not a strategy.” So says Pastor Tim Runtsch of Colorado and I’ll add my agreement. We church people are very good about complaining. Preachers lambast decay in American culture. Parishioners complain about changes in church practice. Unending war, abortion, assisted suicide, legalized marijuana, homosexuality, immoral levels of debt, civil strife, urban gangs, and what am I missing? There’s much to complain about but what does that accomplish?
Coming up with a strategy forces us down into the facts, like it or not. Now we’re going to have to deal with “those people” we’ve been complaining about. Now faith is going to have to be put into action. And now, theologically, we’re going to move from broadside accusations of the Law (“Thou shalt” or “Thou shalt not”), to thinking about how we can persuade someone that something is wrong, move toward forgiveness and reconciliation with God and others, and in so doing make room for the Spirit to change lives. Making room for the Spirit in the troubles of our world will bring us into a new place, a place of listening and collaboration, a place of stimulation and purpose, a place of hope in God that isn’t afraid to open church doors for witness to the world. Wouldn’t that be a brand new place to many religious people? Thanks, Pastor Runtsch. “Complaining is not a strategy.”