I’m grateful for the local church family that God has placed me in, and I believe God is using us together in some way despite our shortcomings. But there are times I feel an overwhelming sense of exasperation and disillusionment with the mainstream evangelical american stream of christianity in which we/I live and breath (church, work, facebook, basically everywhere) What follows is critique, but for me it’s also catharsis.
I’m tired of our evangelical/charismatic yearning for happy-clappy, not-real, emotionally-charged religious “experiences” rather than just doing the noticeable or unnoticeable good works of the kingdom, faithfully and by God’s grace, maybe joyfully. Jesus said; “follow Me.” Do the things I’ve shown you and told you to do. He didn’t say; “feel happy and sing and dance with Me all day long…” Dry, wilderness experiences aren’t the end of the world, and neither should we feel guilty and ashamed because they’re happening. It’s natural. Keep walking. Do good. Be good. God doesn’t need your heart/head/mind to be in a continual state of spiritualized ecstasy to accomplish His good in this world. But He can use endurance, even if it’s just plodding along; and as I understand it, that’s real faith, at least a lot more real and tangible than the mental accent that’s constantly taught and preached.
I’m tired of us making clueless, grandiose statements based on some cherry-picked Bible verse or praise song or celebrity preacher/writer/’christian’ politician/christian celebrity that gives us a pass in ignoring reality, in brandishing outrageous assumptions and presuppositions, in squashing our intellect, or in supporting selfish, violent, unChrist-like attitudes and actions.
I’m sick of being around ‘christians’ who blame everything and anything on Obama. (Yes, it’s constant among many ‘chrisians’ and it’s despicable)
I’m tired of being around ‘christians’ clutching their guns (or hoarding guns) and threatening to shoot anybody who tries to take anything from them or do something to them, but then piously claiming to be followers of the humble, loving unarmed Jesus Christ.
I’m sick of hearing that mushy, emotionally ginned-up rock shows are “worship” when a glance through Scripture reveals nothing of the sort. (Instead you find that worship is mostly about obedience, giving thanks and doing good works…)
I’m tired of our super sensitive radar for ‘legalism’ and our near constant mocking/putting down of other christians who are actually trying to live lifestyles that counter this sick american culture (in ways other than just sexuality!)
I’m tired of us justifying and/or rooting for torture and american empire (as embodied in our Pentagon) because we think God prefers western ‘judeo/christian’ culture over the rest of the world…
I’m sick of us (in particular, christian ‘libertarians’) claiming that free-market capitalism, property rights, gun rights and the Constitution are God’s greatest ideals for human civilization.
I’m tired of us being so terrified of gay rights and how it will destroy the family; but hardly flinching when it comes to the family-destroying divorce/remarriage epidemic, or the work-our-family-to-death-because-the-market/capitalism-demands-it rat race we’ve been openly condoning and allowing for decades.
I’m tired of sitting in church or sunday school and having to avert my eyes away from sexual-sin-hating-sister-so-in-so because her short, tight skirt and crossed legs, or her drooping neckline threaten to give me a clear shot of something only her husband should be seeing…
I’m tired of all the time and money we’ve spent on everything that doesn’t matter (like rock shows, conferences, politics, ‘christian’ entertainments, grand building projects etc, etc) while so much that should matter; the hurting, the poor, the ill, the forgotten, the marginalized, the broken, the bound and the hungry get a few crumbs.
I’m tired of our crass end-times bloodlust we love to wallow in as we sit in church or Sunday school fantasizing about the battle of Armageddon or the rapture and all the judgement that will be visited upon everyone but ourselves.
I’m tired of us, the modern heirs of the american 2nd Great Awakening-revivalist-calvinist-charismatic stream telling me that God doesn’t care one bit about our ‘works’ and all that matters is my ‘heart’ (when the Bible clearly says otherwise – many times…)
I’m sick of our transient, short attention span, church-hopping inability to commit to anything that doesn’t pump us up or make us feel good or cool.
I’m sick of our lame attempts at competing with the world’s entertainments. (or stealing/copying said entertainments for our own glory…)
And finally, I’m tired of my wishy-washy, go-along-to-get-along participation with all of this absurd, silly and anti-Jesus stuff dressed up in catchy american christianeze. Lord have mercy on me and all of us. Help us to throw off the rags of our worldly religiosity and imitate only You. Take us down the merciful lowly roads of humble repentance.