I stumbled upon a blog post criticizing pretty much everything about the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit (I’m not going to link to it — google search and you’ll find more than enough).
This writer criticized the music, the lights, the theology, the speakers, the clothes.
Then I read the comments. I’m guessing most of the readers of his website and blog read because they mostly agree with his views and theological leanings. Not this time. Of the 35 or more comments, many were simply asking the question: Why are you bashing it? Can’t you see any good in it?
Frankly, the Reformed camp and ultra-conservative denominations (Southern Baptists, to name one) are without question the LOUDEST voices of ANTI. Following up a close second are some in the emergent crowd and smaller denominations (who are ANTI simply because they can’t do what others are doing).
Over the last 3 years of heavy reading, studying, and following people who write these things, I am starting to sense something: The World Is Tired of Anti’s. The world is tired of people who simply build their agendas/platforms being AGAINST things (which, frankly, isn’t true in the political world as many politicians are making a push being anti-Obama, anti-______).
But in the world of Christianity and church, the world is tired of it. And I am too.
Of course, I’m anti some things. I’m anti-hate; anti-violence; anti-discrimination; anti-anger; anti-apathy. But I’m not anti anything of people who are on the same team as me.
It would be like if Randy Johnson (an ex-MLB pitcher who threw left handed and threw gas) told Greg Maddux (an ex-MLB pitcher who threw right handed and threw slow with control) that he thought everything he did was stupid and just criticized.
That’s what this blog writer did. He simply threw stones.
As Bill Hybels said at Willow Creek, “We’re not anti-anybody at Willow.” That’s why they reach thousands.
As Tim Keller once said, the world needs ALL kinds of churches to reach ALL kinds of people. Of course, all churches can do things better. We can all try to improve the worship, the teaching, the experience, the prayer, etc etc. But that doesn’t mean the little Baptist church on the corner needs to look the same as Willow Creek. That then doesn’t mean we need to throw stones at each other and criticize. Sure, we can lovingly correct, but we don’t need to be anti-each other.
People are dying (literally and spiritually). I read one account that predicts 18% of Millenials will be actively seeking Christ in their lives. 18%!
Don’t waste your time reading, writing, and following people who are anti-people on the same team. The world is tired of it. So am I.