The Way Things Are

Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.
- Stephen King, On Writing

If I hear one more person whine about how the Church failed them in some way or how there's no difference between Church folks and non-Church folks in lifestyle, I may shit a literal brick. I have no desire to diminish the wounds by the hands of those of the cloth, such as pedophile priests. That's not what I'm talking about.

What I am talking about is being disappointed or let-down or betrayed or frustrated by God's people. I always wonder, well, what did you expect? And I'm certain the response would be well, something more. The Church, regardless of your denomination or geographical location, always has been and always will be full of people. Some are redeemed and some just haven't realized it yet. But they're all people, flesh and blood. And as such, they and I will disappoint you, let you down, betray you, and no doubt frustrate you to no end. When that happens, and it will, those are the opportunities to practice what is so often preached: forgiveness, patience, long-suffering, peace, kindness, compassion, gentleness, mercy, etc. If you're looking for something different than that, then don't go looking for a Church. Join The Justice League or Dixie's Midnight Runners or something, but don't walk into a Church. Because the Church is full of crap.
Or at least it oughta be.

A Cliff Notes skip thru the New Testament shows that clearly. After that glorious day in Acts where everybody lived on love, things went south pretty fast. Widows were overlooked, there was crazy sex stuff, folks got all mixed up about grace and law, the sun went down on someone's anger, circumcision kept showing up so to speak, and disciples sat with the popular kids instead of the nerds. But there were also days of peace and love and forgiving as Christ forgave us and steering clear of idols and older women teaching the younger women and flames of faith being fanned and friends being reconciled and whole households being baptized. In other words, Church, the Ecclesia, the called-out-ones, is a mixed bag. It's full of faith, hope and love and at the same time is full of guys watching porn and mismanaged funds and kids who listen to Duffy. And you know who's sitting right in the middle of it? The Good Lord himself.

Would I love if it Church was full of people who understood me? Heavens yes. Would I stew in the juices of contentment if Church musicians sang the songs the move me? Yes. Would it be splendid if everybody got their house in order before coming to the Lord's house, so we could get on with whatever it is we're dreaming about? Everybody say Amen. I'm not sure people are looking for a new kind of christian or a new kind of church so much as they're looking for a new kind of person, somebody different than the weight of human history reveals. We've got historical amnesia and we're putting all our money on the future. And the wonderful selling point of the future is that nobody's been there yet; in other words, you can pretty much sell anything.

Then again, maybe I'm full of crap.

1 comment:

  1. I chuckled as I read your blog today. Grace. . . Grace. . . Grace. . . where are you today?

    Maybe churches should give each other a 25 day grace period like my credit card company gives me.

    Can't point out the fault until 25 days later. . . seems as if we begin the interest charges once the blame has been hung.

    Write on!