Church-going people are like everyone else. Some are very kind and some very cruel. Some are very loving and some very self-righteous. They are just people, but we tend to expect more of them because they wear the tag Christian.
If becoming a Christian is just ascribing to certain mental axioms and signing off on them, how could we possibly expect more? But if loving Jesus is about a new way of living, not just something to believe, and not just a club to join; then maybe the bar should be a little higher.
We all screw up, royally at times, and we need to be honest about it. Frankly, Christians act like their shit doesn’t stink, but I think when we are mean to others, or disenfranchise them, or when we are prideful or exclusive, then our shit out stinks everyone else’s because we are misrepresenting the very one whose name we carry with us. The church has enough to judge within their own parameters, without pointing their finger at others.
If we could move from piety to honesty and from pretension to safety; we would be healthier and more gracious individuals. We have to find a way to live somewhere between arrogance and guilt in the land of freedom and grace. Until we experience it, we will never grant it to others.
(This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, An Irreligious Faith)
Glenn, You have put so well into words what I have been thinking for a while. We are the most forgiven people in the world, so why do we pretend that we are no longer human, but are holy and without blemish now on earth? Can’t we just be honest and confess our sins to one another? There is something freeing in knowing that so-and-so has the same problem I do. Like maybe we can get together and support one another in our struggles. But if we can’t admit to one another, then the support will never be there.
Jeanne – All I think of to say is, “Amen!”