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.