One of the problems the Christian church has is it’s image of a downer message. The message of sin and damnation, putting down gays and women and poking into the bedrooms and lives of ordinary people is taking its toll.
I used the word, “image”, because this is not the message of all of the faith. But, I would propose, the downer message is the one many people take from the church.
Today, the Southern Baptist Convention annouced it’s reducing the annual contribution to its premier University, Baylor, by one million dollars. The SBC has been losing members at a rate of about five percent per year for several years.
Yet, it seems impossible for SBC to change its message of sin, condemnation and damnation. It’s a message it enjoys telling others about.
Albert Mohler, Jr., it’s most public spokesperson, posted a column today blasting away at other parts of Christianity that put a happier face on the faith. He criticized Joel Osteen, the mega-church pastor who has little negative to say about anyone. Mohler was especially angry at Osteen for accepting the Mormon branch as just another denomination, like Lutheran or Catholic. Osteen, said Mohler, is just too lazy to get angry with the Mormon faith for passing itself off as a legitimate brand of Christianity.
It seems to me, Osteen represents the “Christian Lite” branch while Mohler is “Christian Dark”.
I think Christianity, like beer, would do better Lite.