Thursday, June 04, 2009
Transitions and Journeying
Sometimes you wonder if the very things that make up your life are the right things and, even if they are, are you doing them for the right reasons. I mean, one could easily do the right things for the wrong reasons and thereby one would need to question whether those "right" things would become "wrong" just because of the motivations behind the action.
Jesus spoke to this when he told us how to pray in quiet, to fast without drawing attention to our suffering, and to give in such a way that no one would know what we were doing. If we did these things publicly we were doing them for humans and not for God.
The rules of the Christian community can be somewhat like that. The thing I hear as the reason for being why many people are burnt out on church or don't come anymore is that the church is full of hypocrites... and there are some defenses to this accusation; "Hypocrites are everywhere, of course they are in the church!"; or, "Well, some churches but not ours/my friends."; or, "Christians are just held to an unreasonable standard.".
While these defenses may be valid they do not excuse some of the things we have done to appear hyper-critical of a world that does not know Christ and hypocritical in our own lives. After, Christians often tout the "sanctity of marriage" while maintaining a divorce and adultery rate on par with the world; the holiness movement is only too happy to pick on anyone who drinks or smokes (health concerns seem to be their concern) but have no problem with eating too much on a daily basis; Christians don't want people living together before marriage but try bringing up pornography in a room of Christians and watch the heads drop; we talk about loving others, loving the sinner and hating the sin but how many of us really volunteer at Crisis Pregnancy, abused women's shelters, feed the homeless, or even really know the needs of our neighbors?
We- and I include myself in this- need to seriously evaluate how we are following Christ. Not clocking in on Sunday for 1-2 hours. Not just singing in worship but wildly loving our Father. Not just "tithing" but giving generously. Not just whispering a "thanks" prayer before we gorge ourselves but really communicating with a Friend.
We need to question the institutions of religiousness and Pharisee-ism and embrace a home to be found in God.