This is the illusion that I feel as if I have lived under for some 20-odd years in the Christian culture:
"Oh come and join our Happy Christian Church! We are better than most people; we are on the winning team always. We have no problems, and the blessing of the Lord is constantly upon us. We make more money than most people, and have no psychological disorders. Our lives are free of pain, our children are well behaved, we suffer no hair loss, and our teeth are straight. We live in a happy suburb, where all the homes are of conforming architecture, and there is no smog. We have no halitosis here. Come, see the wonderful things that Jesus can do for you too!"
I guess my reflections of the lastcouple of days have me again thinking of how fallen my life is, and how failure prone the church can be. I often feel as if the landscape of the place I call my church home is not unlike the highway after the scene of a 25 car pile-up; flashing lights, emergency vehicles, officers with measuring tape determining what happened, and people exchanging insurance information on the shoulder. Tod Bolsinger has done a good job of just beginning to probe at the soft, pathetic underbelly of the church. I hope he goes farther on this topic.
I was told the other day by a reader of this Blog that sometimes they feel a bit "too down" after reading some of my thoughts. I am sorry for this, it is not my intension to depress others. My family will tell you that I am largely a goofy kid hiding in a grown-up's body.
Nor do I want to be the fellow chucking turds in the church pool. I guess it boils down to this. What it really needs to be about is...brokenness, need, and healing.
We Christian folk are not the "Winning Team", we are the "Pathetic Helpless Needy Team". We are the Crippled Soldiers of the Lord. We can barely stand of our own power. We need healing, every last one of us. And for that, I am thankful, hopeful, grateful.