Was Marx right? Does money drive people to do what they do?
Was Freud right? Does sex make people to do what they do?
Was Nietzsche right? Does power influence people to do that they do?
Was Jesus right? Does loving God and loving neighbor inspire people to do what they do?
The answer to each of the questions above is: “Yes.” Moreover, the church world is not exempt from the dominant philosophies and teachings of the world.
When denominational leaders refuse to speak into current issues (even when the church desperately needs to be a voice of justice and righteousness) for fear that their opinion might upset major givers, then money not morality is piloting the ship. If Amos took a similar stance, he would have continued quietly growing figs; his bank account would have been bigger; and the book that bears his name would have never been written. If the bottom line is more important than the mission of God and righteousness, then maybe Marx was right.
When pornography is just as rampant in the church as it is in the world, then maybe Freud was right. When a pastor defrocked over sexual misdeeds (same with singers and musicians) continues to be offered speaking engagements at churches across the country, even though there has been little repentance or consequences over his/her misdeeds, then there is a Freudian problem.
There are many little ones aspiring to be a big fish in our little denominational pond. Power trips are everywhere– from credential boards, to district offices, to the GMC, to factious partnerships. Social media has given a platform and promise to the little fishies. “Shout louder, Little Fish and you’ll be a Big Fish soon!” Maybe Nietzsche was right.
Why are so many deconstructing their faith? See the above examples. Those deconstructionists see the influence of Marx, Freud and Nietzsche more than the evidence of Jesus. I get it. If money, sex or power are the driving factors in a church, then it needs to be deconstructed. It’s not the church of Jesus Christ.
Thankfully, I’ve seen pastors and laypeople serve Jesus and love their neighbors too. It’s not for money, sex or power. They’ve been driven by a deep desire to be a faithful witness in trying times. The true Jesus followers press on. Maybe their bottom line is not as impressive as those driven by money. Maybe they are not as flashy as those in the Freudian world. Maybe they remain a small fish for their entire lives with no apologies to Nietzsche. But they are the ones who will hear: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Let us strive to love God and love our neighbors. Let us be driven by righteousness and justice. The world’s pursuit of money, sex and power leads to an emptiness. Could it be that’s why are pews are likewise empty? The pursuit of Jesus leads to the abundant life. Could it be if we displayed more of the compelling love of Jesus, our pews would be full?