"The greatest barrier to the gospel in contemporary western culture is the church," or so says New Zealand Theologian Mike Riddell. It is quite ironic that the very message, entrusted to us by Jesus, is in danger by the body created by Jesus to spread it. But what does Riddell mean? We call the church ‘a family’ and yet, if the church were to go into therapy, it would be considered severely dysfunctional, un-communicative and often abusive.

Our congregations… function as conglomerations of committed individuals, little different from a bowling club or a Rotary club group. Most Western Christians regard even major life decisions as their private arena and would never contemplate opening the process to fellow Christians.

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