I've started this blog a half dozen times already, but my finger keeps finding the backspace.
I don't why it's so hard to articulate these thoughts that are bouncing aimlessly around in my head...but it's becoming increasingly difficult to sort them out.
Basically, I'm disappointed in the church.
I don't know where it went so wrong, but somehow church has gone from what it should be, (a loving, accepting environment the welcomes and includes) to a harsh, judgemental, exclusive club where the only ones accepted are those who fit perfectly into the box created by Christian culture.
We have our cheesy t-shirts, our charismatic conventions, our pipe organ loving counterparts who still think that guitars and drums are from the devil.
Anything outside of what we consider normal or correct is quite obviously wrong...sinful even.
My personal favorite is when the word sinner is directly applied to only those who do not attend church. Obviously, it could not apply to Christians. Us, sinners? No, of course not!
Oh, please! Quit pretending. Quit acting like perfect little Jesus freaks. This play has gotten old. The acting sucks anyway. Can we for once just honestly admit that we mess up just as much as the next person? This masquerade has gone on long enough, and I believe it is almost entirely to blame for the widely accepted negative view of the Christianity. We have earned this disdain...this bitterness toward anything affiliated with Christ, God, or religion.
A wise friend of mine once told me that humility is the only thing that sets Christians apart from anyone else. I don't know if I agree with him that it's the ONLY thing....but it certainly should be one of the biggest aspects of a Christians character.
The Christians that I admire the most...the ones that I aspire to be more like.....are the ones who are honest. The ones who don't pretend to have it all together. The ones who don't hide behind a false happiness every Sunday morning, know all the hymns by heart (without taking any of them to heart), the ones who sit attentively, hearing the message but not listening, then leave, dodging what handshakes and happy greetings they can to return to the life they live the rest of the week.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is if you have been hurt or disappointed or labeled by someone who associates themselves with the church...I know how you feel. I too have felt the sting of Christian "love." I've recently discovered just how bitter I am towards the church in general. I'm working on it...trying to get past it.
I can only say that there are genuine Christ followers out there. I've met them. They are the ones who have inspired me, cultivated my own fatih. The ones who really do care. My parents...various youth pastors and leaders and friends. They are out there. And I hope and pray that you will meet them...and recognize the true passion they have to live a life filled with love and to genuinely model Christ's example.
They wont be perfect.
But they will be real.