I was reading another post called, “Christians Don’t Want The Truth, They Want The Happy,” a post that pretty much sums up some issues you see within the church at large, the church overall. There is a real backlash right now against the so called prosperity gospel and the joy brigades.
I’m a bit of collateral damage from this culture war. This may sound a bit harsh but I’m at a point in my life where I now realize the error is actually in those two little words, “Christians want.” The entire root of this problem is seeking people favor, being concerned about what other “Christians want.”
Trust me, almost nobody cares about discovering what the Holy Spirit might want….
You know why many people tend to put on a plastic face in church and joyfully fake how blessed they are?? Because we just eat our own. Because the last place you would ever want to be vulnerable is in a church. That might sound harsh, but guess what, I’m not happy. I’m not happy about the fact that I could go pour out my woes in a bar and be accepted and loved, but the church is not a safe place for being real about our lives.
Bars are not a safe place either, but people in the process of trying to drown their sorrows and swallow their demons are far less likely to self righteously gossip about someone else’s hypocrisy. There’s not a lot of hypocrisy in bars. Self deception yes, but not very many acting like holiness is some kind of competition based on a plea bargain system where you get extra credit points for pointing out the sins of others.
And by “bars,” I also mean on the streets where heroin and meth flow, where “those kind of people” gather, you know, the ones that have to deal with things our church is totally unconcerned about because we just kind of levitate three feet off the ground, untouched by the world’s pain.
I’m not happy at the moment, I’m kind of angry, angry and sad, for decades now. I’ve watched our indifference, our stonewalling, our complete avoidance for so long, I actually have trouble even imagining anything else. And I am the church, we are the church. So many people think I point fingers at “the church” as if it were a disembodied entity, unrelated to us. But “we” are the church….
Somebody on Twitter the other day quipped, “it’s easier to believe in Jesus then it is to believe in the church.” Yep, that’s my issue too! It takes a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit for me to even consider the possibility that church is not just a social club like the Elks club, not a place to go buy fire insurance, not a place people visit to just take a political selfie.
Obviously I’m an expert at winning friends and influencing people, but the truth is I’ve loved many broken people, heroin addicts and the hurting, pedophiles and the homeless, people of all races, but trying to love so called good Christians, “good churchians,” well, that’s often been a real struggle, one that requires faith I just don’t have under my own steam.
We’ve just come back from a few days vacation and the highlight of the whole trip for me was when this guy broke his ankle because I got to hold his head and tell him he was brave and wonderful, greatly loved, and stronger then he even realized. Sadly, we people never learn those things about ourselves and about our Lord, until we’re flat on our back and in intense pain.
And we never have the opportunity to speak those words over one another when we lack the courage and fortitude to share our pain and suffering with one an other.