Truth time. I like to read heretical publications. Why? Endless reasons, but my favorite is that I get to puzzle out how I'd respond. It keeps me in my apologetic prime. Anyway, I was reading one such publication a few days ago when I came across this gem: "I no longer look to the church and see any of my values, my priorities, my convictions reflected back at me..."
It left me dumbfounded for a few moments. I always have a hard time understanding these types of comments. I've never thought about the Church as something that should reflect back what I already thought. On the contrary, the more my faith has deepened, the more I've seen how necessary it is that I change the way I think. The Church is supposed to challenge me to move out of my comfort zone and radically change my life. The more I thought about the comment above, the more I saw our society gazing into a mirror, adoring itself. It doesn't want to be challenged. It doesn't want conversion. It wants happy-clappy, feel good, affirmation of the grandeur of ourselves.
As I pondered this, I remembered the words of our Lord: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you..." I think we all need to really sit down and ask what we're seeking, because as I thought about all this I got the growing sense that this verse can read two ways. I've always thought about this as a comforting verse, assuring us that if we seek Jesus we will find Him, but now I am realizing that the flip side is that if we seek ourselves we will find that too, for eternity. Hell isn't other people. Hell is no other people. Hell is looking in a mirror forever, and being sick with what we see. At the end of time, we will find what we were looking for.