Confession: I really hate Christians sometimes.
That sounds terrible, I know. And I’m sorry.
Another Confession: I’m really not sorry. I should be sorry. It DOES sounds terrible. But it’s just true. I’m so sick of Christians and their subculture and their stupid unwritten rules and empty phrases.
(I guess I should be saying “our” instead of “their” but I choose not to. Kind of like when your favorite sports team loses you say “they should have done this” or “they just didn’t want it enough” – but if they win it’s all about how “we played really well” or “we were just the better team.” Today, I feel as though Christians are losing, or are losers, or something like that, thus I will refer to them as a “they” rather than a “we” – I digress…)
I should give some grace. I want to love the church as the body of Christ. I want to love my brothers and sisters. And I think that I do.
What I do not love, however, is this idea that we have to imitate one another in the way we speak and the way we date and the way we worship. We are forgetting that we are called only to imitate Christ. We’re constantly looking around instead of up. That is stupid. That is sin. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
(Looks like I changed my mind and started saying we…I guess subconsciously I’m aware of how equally at fault of this I am. Dang it.)
Lets read a bunch of stupid books like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and make ridiculous rules about what “Christian” dating looks like. Lets throw around words and phrases like “pursuit” to make us feel good about ourselves. Then we’ll be in a godly relationship. Swell.
A guy on my younglife team was joking around once and told me that all he would have to do to date a hot Christian girl is tell her that he listened to NeedtoBreath, that he had read Redeeming Love and/or Wild At Heart, and that he wanted to “pursue her.” Throw in some North Face jackets and a Patagonia fleece and you’re all set.
He is so right.
We care more about what books and speakers and friends say about Christian dating than what God says about it. And we are “pursuing” relationships more than we are pursuing Christ. It’s absurd. It’s idolatry. It’s sin.
And we’re really great at Christian-y conversations too. Struggling with something? Talk to me…I’ll tell you how you need to “surrender that to Christ” or “lay it at the feet of the throne” or, my favorite, that “I’ll be praying for you.”
Maybe I’m too cynical. Actually, it’s not a maybe, I know I am. But those are real, truthful, beautiful phrases that we have distorted and whored out the world so much so that they are nearly empty now. We just say it to say. Because it sounds right. Because it’s what we’ve heard and it’s what we’re supposed to say. But what does it really mean? What does it look like to encourage someone in truly surrendering? And how many times do we actually get on our knees and fervently pray for a friend?
I’m well aware that this is not the case always. I have dear friends who speak truth into me and who I genuinely believe pray for me when they say they will. And I have real community. And it is beautiful and wonderful and a small taste of heaven on earth. It is community as I believe the Lord intended it to be and I am so so so blessed by it.
It’s just that this community is so real and raw and wonderful that it frustrates me when it feels like the vast majority of our “Christian” culture is missing the mark. Thank you, sin. Thank you, Eve. Thank you, flesh.
I want real community for all believers.
I want community that shines…that speaks truth to the world around us…that glorifies our Father in heaven.
And I want us to start looking up more. Not around. Yes, God uses people. Yes, God speaks through people. Yes, there are thousands of good, real, deep, fabulous people in this world that seek to Glorify the Lord. But we HAVE to look up FIRST. Not around.
I don’t know. Clearly, we are all missing the mark. I certainly don’t have it all figured out – in fact, most days I feel as though I have nothing figured out. Which is why I am forever paralyzed by the unspeakable grace the Father pours out on us. But I guess today I am just frustrated with humanity. Which I suppose we should be.
In addressing unity in the body of Christ Ephesians 4 says that “the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (v. 12-16)
It’s a process. We are growing. We are being sanctified.
I need patience. I need to extend grace.
I’m just really really really excited for us to get there. And until then, let’s be proactive. Let’s say Yes to Christ: “Yes Lord, walking in the ways of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8.
Yes, LORD. Yes.