A blast from the past…
Sun News, The (Myrtle Beach, SC) – Sunday, May 16, 1999
Author/Byline: Colin Burch , THE SUN NEWS
Section: LOCAL & REGIONAL
Psychologist Larry Crabb, speaking at First Baptist Church of Myrtle Beach on Saturday, said churches are not typically places for strong relationships.
“It is my conviction that spiritual community is lacking in the Christian church,” Crabb said.
Crabb is professor and distinguished scholar in residence at Colorado Christian University in Morrison, Colo., and professor at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.
He’s the author of several best sellers, including “Inside Out” and most recently “Connecting: Healing for Ourselves and Our Relationships.”
In his speech Saturday night, Crabb said anyone can hug and anyone can show up in church.
Crabb said too often churches focus on what’s manageable, rather than depending on God and each other to deal with life’s struggles. At the same time, people focused on ministry often fail to establish relationships with other Christians.
But the high standard for Christian community is the Trinity in which God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell together as one, he said. Christians should look at the Trinity as the goal for church relationships, he said
To foster community, Crabb said, people must be honest with one another about who they are and where they are in life.
He said too many churches are not safe places to talk about life’s struggles.
“Let’s not pretend that because we are convinced of our doctrinal correctness that everything’s fine,” Crabb said.
It’s possible that people who conform to external standards are the worst off spiritually, he said.
Crabb also said Christians should realize the power of God’s spirit is available to help them when they are struggling, or dealing with others who are having a hard time.
Toward the end of his talk, Crabb said Christians should move together to realize the high ideal of community that is demonstrated in the Trinity and not be discouraged with how things are now.
The church needs to be a community where we turn toward each other and release God’s goodness into the lives of others, he said.
His speech at First Baptist Church was sponsored by Pine Lakes Bible Church in Myrtle Beach.