DO I SOUND LIKE A CHRISTIAN?

I sorta took a dive off the shallow end with my previous posts (yesterday).  It felt good to write those things (in a twisted way).  I tapped into my inner – inner what? – and let it go.

I wasn’t just simply trying my hand at satire, though that is how I packaged it.  I was feelin’ it.

Here’s what I kinda realized last week: This, or something like it, is the face of Christianity in the world today.

I didn’t say the face of Jesus; I said the face of Christianity.  There are lots of non-Christians looking at the faith from the outside, and the kinds of things I posted are SOME of the kinds of things they see.  (There are lots of insiders looking in the mirror and suddenly finding their “voice” in this stuff too.)

I in no way think my words represent all Christians, but certainly the Bumper sticker kind.  The flag waving kind.

The face of Christianity also looks like unrepentant pedophile or rapist clergy, serial philandering pastors, greedy popstars and more.

Even those Christians who resist this stuff must grow like wheat with tares of this sort in the midst.

I’m not writing just now about all the dynamics of growth, discipline, patience and all that.  Good stuff to consider, but rather it dawned on my that my care for the homeless goes shunned, and I have been shunned with it, as I present it to people LIKE THIS.

How do you reason with a “Jesus loving” I…Q voter about love?

I doubt very much you do.  Reasoning is for philosophers and scientists.  No bad thing, but a waste of time in a lot of other arenas.

I think I have been wasting my time at church.

You can reason all day long with a pastor about loving the homeless, but if he is more interested in your wife’s breasts and worried that his liaison with the deacon’s daughter is going to be discovered, you really aren’t going to get very far.

4 comments

  1. Tim McGee · June 27

    I had to step away from Twitter because of the vitriol being spewed as “Christians” took their victory lap over the SCOTUS decision. I just don’t understand (or, maybe I do but would rather not) how people cannot see that what they’re doing leads people away from Christ and hardens hearts. It’s so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agent X · June 27

      Thanx Tim. I struggle to see it too, actually.

      First off, I am not immune to sin by any stretch. There is a second-order problem with it, though. The cover up. And while cover up means to HIDE it on the one hand, in other contexts, hiding it means calling sin good.

      If I walked in on a clergy abusing a child sexually, and saw the act with my own eyes, I would instantly know this is bad. I am sure of it. However, even there, I must remind myself of that coach at Penn State (is that the one?) several years ago and some of his assistants were said to have walked in on him in the shower with young boys and yet failed to report it.

      It’s amazing the dark powers that blind us so easily.

      Then when you get a handful of people in leadership jointly covering up this or that, it becomes very easy to confuse good and bad, right and wrong as it plays with your webwork of values.

      Even our great heroes of the faith struggled with these things! Fortunately, when David was confronted by the prophet, he instantly took conviction. It’s not his sinless life which was exemplary! His heart, impacted by evil, managed to find humility and love more important than its own evil agendas and thus conviction for sin.

      I am just now thinking about how I made the connection back when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston a few years ago and Joel Osteen was busted for turning away needy from his doors. We are all on the health-n-wealth gospel spectrum in this country. Even those of us largely resisting it are nonetheless flirting with it in ways not easy to see.

      Today’s post is hasty, but it’s meant to account for this full orb of head games and heart games we are ALL playing with God.

      God help us not take YOUR name in vain.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Tim McGee · June 27

    Yes, I too am an horrifically repetitive sinner and am quite capable of some well worded verbal vitriol. So I am not immune from my own rebuke. But I think you hit the nail on the head when we look around and see what is going on and not only do not recognize sin as sin but perhaps even accept it as not being sin at all. We need to return to the basics:
    1-love God
    2-love others
    3-for EVERYTHING else, refer to numbers 1&2
    Everything not done for love is to do nothing at all (I think good ol’ Paul wrote about that in a letter once …)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agent X · June 27

      Amen, brutha!

      Everything in the law and the prophets hangs on these two. And we could plunge ourselves into the mystery/ies of love and never exhaust it before we are exhausted.

      I am reading Paul: A Biography just now by N.T. Wright, and I am reminded by Wright that he (Wright) has taught me before this too that St. Paul, in Rom. 10:2 grants that his fellow Jews have zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

      Knowledge in biblical terms might include intellectual exercises but tends to be a far more fully orbed relationship with the beloved. To KNOW God is life (John 17:3). Adam, Abraham, and others “knew” their wives and brought forth children.

      It is possible to have zeal for God without knowledge. I struggle with it too.

      But my church does also with seemingly no recognition of it.

      Here’s the kicker: The congregation I belong to has in the main lobby in letters maybe eight feet tall the message “Love God and Love others.” IT is the church motto/mission statement.

      And yet when I suggest that means opening our door of our multimillion dollar complex to the drifters of the streets for a warm reception on a cold night, I am argued with over it and eventually ghosted by these “Love God;Love others” people. Just banging away on that door all to no avail for years on end.

      They have zeal, but not according to knowledge.

      That is a rather passive expression of the American spirit. The hostile and caustic kind are making headlines right now, but we are all on this continuum. Even I am a health -n- wealth gospel kind, though I make a practice of resisting it. But when I stand naked before God and hear the whisper of conviction, I am convicted too.

      Liked by 2 people

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