Cynicism is a sickness

“Though there is indeed a great deal of disenchantment with God these days, “Christian” cynicism seems most often directed toward the church.  As an untidy conglomeration of imperfect people from all walks of life, the margin for human error in the church is quite high, isn’t it?  We are a dysfunctional family of sinful siblings, repeatedly failing and injuring one another.  Christians must constantly nurse in-house wounds.  Thus the descent, whether immediate or gradual, into cynicism.

So many believers have now slid into those dark pits that cynicism is becoming vogue in many Christian circles as a self-identifying trademark of a new spirituality-the edgy spirituality of the jaded.  Since cynicism is emerging as a hip new way to be “spiritual,” religious disenchantment is often hailed as a spiritual virtue.

Cynical Christians are therefore situated on the fringes of Christian fellowship.  Their position on the margins allows them to be close enough to the church to (often amusingly) criticize its mistakes while maintaining a degree of allegiance to Jesus (who harangues against the established religious leadership of his day become favorite Scripture  passages). Cynics praise themselves for taking the red pill of “reality,” and then they stick it to “the Man” by unplugging themselves from the “matrix” of the institutional church.

But who does the Christian cynic “stick it to” if “the Man” is Jesus himself or the church he died for?

Such questions expose cynicism as potentially misguided and dangerous.  Cynics have been wounded, or at least frustrated, and their edgy spirituality is the spirituality of those whose spiritual wounds and frustrations have become infected, when their brokenness has soured into bitterness.

Cynicism is a sickness.

Excerpt from Faith Without Illusions by Andrew Byers.  Highly recommend!


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