I’ve been thinking. What I’ve been thinking about is the problem of today’s church concerning transparency. Now, this is a fairly new term in the realm of human relationships, but I think it very well relates to the aspect of holiness and wholeness we so often hear about.
What is transparency?
“free from pretense or deceit : FRANK b : easily detected or seen through : OBVIOUS c : readily understood”
This is what Webster Dictionary says about the adjective form of our word. This is also the general understanding of the term with which I approach my problem with today’s church.
I somehow struggle to see a church which is transparent in its everyday ministry – in any direction. Transparent from the lay-people to the leaders, transparent from the leaders to the lay-people, transparent from inside to the outsiders, etc. etc. This is, I want to see a church which is not afraid of sharing its “secrets” with the people within and outside… Of course, I don’t talk about the churches under persecution having to stand out and proclaim where all their meetings and all that happen… Not at all. I’m talking about our well secured and comfortable church in the West.
The Biblical Side??
At least in my NIV Bible the word transparent/transparency does not appear in the text… However, I cannot but think of Jesus’ relationship with the disciples… Yes, the disciples didn’t always quite understood what their Master was trying to say to them, but one thing stands out to me – Jesus never kept them in darkness concerning who he is, what is he here for, and what are they (the disciples) to do… Yes, even what expects them in their future ministry – see Matthew 10. How much of this type of openness and sharing is present among the people of God today?
To challenge your understanding of how far is too far – James 5:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective.” (NIV)
Now we either don’t have any righteous people, any true Christians in our churches, or we’re just not liking God’s message to us! Many today will not like this verse, first because of their own sins, but second because nobody likes standing bare naked before his friends and fellow believers. And this is sad. It’s sad, because we ought to be different. We ought to be able to open up, share our sins… TRUST EACH OTHER… But frankly, we don’t. We just don’t trus each other enough within the (supposedly!) united community of believers, so that we can share such things. And yet we boast that we’re different from the world…
So why is that? Why is it like this, that leaders from the church don’t like giving all the reasons for their decisions to the people they impact – the lay-people of the same church? Why is it that one Christian doesn’t always share with another all they perceive, think, wish for, struggle with…?
Why? Why? WHY?
drop me a comment with your thoughts and repsonse… I truly hope you have one! Otherwise – take it as a challenge and come up with a standpoint on this…