A New Day, or, What it Means to be a Malcontent

A wise man once said “Death to better; long live new!” And although Jon Acuff (of suffchristianslike.net) said that in a very different context, I think it applies here. Instead of trying to make my old blog better, it’s about time I started a new one. While “Deep Thoughts With Aaron” was a lame excuse for a blog originally intended to chronicle my summer abroad, it fell flat on its face after only four posts and one comment. Sad day.

But today is no longer a sad day; today is a new day. Today is my first day as a malcontent.

Well, it’s not actually my first day as a malcontent. I’ve spent many years as one. Today, however, marks my first day as an open, honest malcontent.

Dictionary.com says:

Malcontent (adj.)

1. Not satisfied or content with currently prevailing conditions or circumstances

2. dissatisfied with the existing government, administration, system, etc.

What, I hear you scream, does a 20-year-old college student have to be dissatisfied with? Well, I’m glad you asked, though I gave you a pretty obvious hint in the title of this blog. I am dissatisfied with the state of the church today. I am tired of the religious right claiming it speaks for all Christians, and I’m sick of the media playing along. I’m fed up with political pandering from the pulpit and watered-down, self-help Christianity that doesn’t have the power to change a light bulb, let alone a human life. I’m tired of flashy showman preaching health and wealth gospels when God himself refused the easy way and instead chose death on a cross. I’m tired of cheap grace and wrongly placed priorities. I’m tired of dry, dusty faith and catechisms learned by rote. And I’m equally fed up with the disillusioned, the “spiritual,” the “I’m a Christian but I can’t stand the church” crowd. I’m tired of hate, tired of ignorance, tired of division, tired of a Church without Christ.

It’s all out in the open now. Whew. Feels good.

So now here I stand, a self-avowed malcontent. Who stands with me?

    • Wes Spears
    • January 6th, 2010

    Of course I stand with you! I particularly want to emphasize out the “I’m a Christian but I can’t stand the church” point you made. You’re right. As Christians we cannot stand apart from the church. We may have issues with it and demand that things change, but the body of Christ capital-C Church is something, a corporate body, that we are all a part of whether we like it or not. We need to act like it and honor that body and try to take care of it best we can just like we should ourselves. The church has baggage because it’s made up of people with baggage and we have to accept that. It doesn’t mean we should just be apathetic and content with the church in its present state, but rather, as you aptly put it, malcontent.

    • aaroncarr72
    • January 7th, 2010

    St. Cyprian once said “You cannot have God as your Father without the Church as your mother.” Gendered language non-withstanding, he makes a good point. Christ established the Church as a community of faith, as a family. We are called to love one another and bear each other’s burdens. Sometimes we fail, but we’re all fallible. It may not be perfect, but until Christ’s return the Church is all we’ve got. And while it may not be perfect, it has plenty of room for malcontents.

    • Austin Davis
    • January 8th, 2010

    Anytime I hear of people disillusioned by the church, who hate any body of christians, I have to remind myself not to get swept into that crowd. Paul loved the church. He devoted his life to it. The churches he wrote letters to all had some things right and some things wrong, sometimes terribly wrong. Yet Paul loved them nonetheless. He was overjoyed by their faith, however disapproving of some of their actions. We need to work on loving people the way Jesus loves them. He regularly scolded the Pharisees, but he did spend a lot of time in the synagogues throughout his life. He “attended church” despite it’s obvious flaws.

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