Over the past several years I’ve thought a good bit about the church and non-churchy people. I’m pretty sure we (and when I say "we," I really mean we – my tribe isn’t completely rid of these maladies) have settled into an expression of church that is as much about culture, comfort, and civility as it is about a body of redeemed perverts, addicts, and self-lovers trying to walk and revel in the wholeness thrust upon us despite ourselves. I know that sounds harsh, but I really do own the indictment as much as I hand it out.
There are all sorts of manifestations of this, but some of them are really simple. For instance, I think we’ve co-opted cultural standards of dignity and manners and made them into religious markers. Anyone violating these standards is viewed as spiritually inferior. I can only imagine the wounds we inflict on people with our (even if accidental) arrogance and false self-affirmation. I just read about an example of this that was striking to me. Read it here.
This is what really got my attention:
Church – a place where David felt like a stupid smoker and not a healed heroin addict.
We are guilty of this. It’s time to cop a plea and get on with our rehabilitation, lest we continue to roll our eyes at God’s trophies of healing and belittle the power of his Kingdom as it makes its deliberate advance in people like David, and, if we’ll let it, in us.
My days are filled with bloggable moments (oddly, the official spell checker of the typepad blogging service does not recognize "bloggable" as a real word). You never see most of them because I either forget them by the time I’m in front of the computer or it’s simply impossible to do the scene justice with words alone. I decided today that if I had one of those fancy phones that take snapshots that all the kiddies are carrying, it would revolutionize my blogging. For instance, today’s gem:
After putting one gallon of gas in my car (so I could make it through a few errands and to the place on the other side of town where I can get gas for six cents a gallon less), I found myself behind a lady in a truck at a red light. She had one of those classy plastic frames around her rear license plate that read:
It’s HELL without Him!!
There were people literally flocking to her truck to kneel before the license plate and repent of their sins. But that’s not actually the punchline. Just to left of this creative improvement of what the Bible actually says was a bumper sticker featuring an American flag next to an Israeli flag with a heart in the middle overlapping both, accompanied by the message "You are not alone."
Today’s home anywhere challenge is: Find the six layers of irony in the bumper region of pickup lady’s truck.
So, for the twelve of you who continually bemoan the fact that I don’t post often enough, just imagine how much better this post would have been with a visual. Pool your cash and buy me one of those Polaroid phones, and I predict you’ll get more of me than you can handle here.