The front page of our local paper has devoted recent headlines to exposing problems in a large church, in our area, that has a very famous husband and wife team. She is on Christian TV constantly, they have done an infomercial together, and there are various other places where you might come across their faces.
Televangelists always evoke a cringing feeling in me, especially those of the "health and wealth" type. I feel bad as I think negative thoughts about them, trying to remind myself that God can use all kinds of people and ways to reach the lost, yet suspicion and misgiving lurk beneath the surface of my thoughts.
It is hard to reconcile all that is done in the name of Christianity with actual Christianity. Very often, the truth gets invaded by half-truths and outright lies, resulting in a tangled mess that the average Christian is left to pick through, looking for the thread of truth that still remains, uncorrupted and pure. If simply picking out correct doctrine and practices were all that there was to it, even that would be manageable. However, for every doctrinal issue there are groups of people attached to them. Refuting error quickly becomes refuting people, which quickly leads to defensiveness, hurt feelings, anger, and accusations.
How do Christians form a cohesive community in the face of bad doctrine, charismatic personalities, and the fragility of being flawed humans?
I'll be writing several posts exploring my own experiences and questions about this over the next few days. Feel free to chime in.