By now you may have heard that Tony Steward, former LifeChurch.tv employee and guru, hasn’t been to church in over a year. And he isn’t missing it. He had some very honest and true statements about the state of the Church. Read his accusations if you like. But I want to take you to a different place. Follow me here.
It’s comforting and encouraging to sing a song like Gungor’s “Beautiful Things.” It’s great to read in Isaiah 61 how God can make beauty from ashes. It’s a good thing to hear when we’re going through tough times because we know something good will come out in the end.
But, I think we’ve watered down this concept in modern Christianity. I think we’ve used it as a chance to say, “Poor us. We’re going through bad situations. At least we know something decent will come from all our suffering.” But I think when we look at it that way, we miss the true beauty and power in the concept.
God not only makes beautiful things from bad situations, He also makes the best thing from bad situations. The darkest day in history was at the same time the brightest day for all humanity. God Himself died a humiliating death. But those ashes brought salvation for all mankind.
When God created the heavens and the earth, He created it from nothingness. From chaos. Again, the most beauty from the most ashes.
Why does God choose to make His very best from the worst situations? He does it to get glory. When He takes hopeless situations and turns it into something beautiful, no one else can take credit for that.
So when Tony Steward hasn’t been to church for a year and doesn’t miss it, I truly feel sorry for him. I don’t feel sorry because the Church may or may not have mistreated him. I feel sorry because he’s missing out on one of the most beautiful things God’s creating. He’s created and is creating the Church as the hope of the world. He’s using ugly and flawed people together to form the most beautiful thing.
Don’t miss out on that beauty.