A home inspection is a very good thing to have done when you purchase a home. This vital part of the home buying process can not only save you from unseen catastrophic issues; it can give you a realistic picture of the home you are buying. This was the reality for us when we recently purchased our home. The inspector completed his analysis and was going over all the findings he had for us. There were a number of things he found that we expected, some we didn’t, and a few that were not surprising. One of his revelations was one I had not seen myself. The exterior entrance to our basement looked great on the surface, but upon closer inspection, we saw that one of the trim pieces of wood was soft under pressure. In other words, the wood frame around the door was rotting.

Rot is a peculiar thing. It can hide under the surface without any appearance of a problem. It doesn’t necessarily cause wood to look, smell, or even feel bad. But it can be a big issue. While rot may keep the appearance of things in place, the structure and supportive power are undermined. Ultimately, rot is a cause for massive damage but from the inside out. The danger with rot is that before you realize there is an issue, the damage is already done. These truths are what makes “rot” a perfect illustration of what is happening widespread in evangelicalism. But the question is how to address the rot.

To the extent that we silo ourselves in the tyranny of the moment, not only will we fail to build up consciences to remain faithful in the chaos, we will almost certainly lend our hand to novel devices and strategies that mean well but will land us right back where we started.

Samuel D. James

There are many “prescriptions” being given on how to properly address and take care of the “rot”. Leaving the church, just putting up with it, and reforming everything are all proposed solutions. However, I really appreciate Samuel D. James’ take on how to deal with all the rot one is finding among the church currently. He spells out a really good approach in his article “The “Rot” of Evangelicalism Doesn’t Need Deconstruction. It Needs Church History.” Ironic thing is, his approach may sound novel, but it’s actually quite ancient.

To truly fix the rot in our door frame we had to expose the real issue. But we didn’t need to totally deconstruct the entire house. We had to look back, assess what caused it, but also realize we were not the first or last ones to deal with this issue. The same is true with the difficulty the church is facing today in the 21st century. We are not alone, we are not seeing problems that have never been seen before in Christianity. Let’s look back. Learn from the past and yet pursue the future with hope – because we of all people should realize the past is the pathway to a very hopeful future.

As always I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment or your thoughts on any article I link to. Don’t forget to be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash