I think it’s important that I put a disclaimer at the beginning of this particular post. I know that the things I’m going to be adding to it in the coming days are going to make many people question my faith…here’s the disclaimer…
1. Humanity as a whole is broken, mainly because they have lost the thing they were created for, relationship with God. This loss was a choice, and remains one.
2. We don’t know…I think this is one of the hardest things for us to realize and to accept I know it is hard for me to know and accept. I don’t know answers to some of the questions, the funny thing is I used to think I did, now not so much.
3. Balance is not a bad word.
4. History is written by the victors, distorted by future adherents, rewritten by the skeptics, and used to further personal agendas.
5. Jesus was real, he really died, and I believe really rose from the dead.
6. No one is always right, and no one is always wrong…
I’m sure there are other disclaimers I should make but that will get things rolling.
I think it’s safe to say that I really never saw this coming. Being the senior pastor of a church was such a stretch for my brain to reach too. I’m excited about it, in fact really love what I am doing now. I love the people that God has placed in our lives. As I have begun the process of leading a church I have also begun the process of a deeper examination of my faith, a deeper study of scripture, and a need to wrestle more with where I am as a Christ Follower and as a Church leader.
On balance I think the church as a whole is afraid. Afraid of a faith that must evolve, afraid of the changing culture, afraid to reach because in doing so it may mean a very real need to examine the things that they hold as true. When the church world realizes that what they are comfortable with no longer works, when they are faced with multiple generations who start almost all interactions with skepticism not just religious ones the tendency is to become defensive and angry. That is unfortunately what most people see when they look at the majority of christians today, an angry bunch of people who are more concerned with the rules of engagement given to every good Christian soldier than they are with the people who need someone to see them as more than their issue or struggle or sin.
When we become more concerned with the laws of the land, the leaders of our nation, our rights as citizens than we are with the person sitting in Starbucks full of questions and hurts and pain there’s a problem. When it becomes more important to be right, both meanings of the word, than it does to be relational there’s an issue. When we put our personal comfort ahead of the way Jesus sees people and would treat them we drive a wedge between ourselves and the world, all in the name of holiness.
Be holy as I am holy is frequently used as an excuse for elitist Christian behavior , yet I (Jesus) hung out with sinners in places the good religious people wouldn’t set foot…
If we are to have the type of impact that we must have in the world, we can’t make it so difficult for the world to interact with us. We can’t sequester ourselves away as the chosen ones and hope to fulfill the mandate the commission we as Christ Followers were given. Christianity and church should be messy because people are messy.