My college chum Julie has made some very fair observations of Christian culture that I feel need a bit of comment.
The post is based on a book that I have no thoughts about yet, and do not plan to read, to no offense to the authors. It seems to me that I have heard many of the issues raised in this book a number of times, and so, the reading for me would feel like an exercise in deja vu.
First, the comment is made that many evangelicals need a "workshop... that would train them to smile and say hello to newcomers". On its face, this is both pathetic and true. I know I am being judgemental and critical, but if the shoe fits.....
Next, we have Julie's most clear thought of her post...."If evangelical Christianity is about spiritual growth which ought to result in deeper human connections, why do they struggle so much to relate to regular people? Why do they need "special trainings" for ordinary human behaviors?" And this is from a friend who has had much experience in things Christian, a former missionary, church worker, and a chick with a Masters in Theology, mind you. This is not someone shouting from outside the gates of the palace; this girl has the keys, and has cleaned many of the bathrooms.
Ok, now I can't stop, there is so much good stuff in this post, such as "Therefore the real issue for the church has to do with the convincing appearance of being good, right, kind, true, and superior, rather than actually being those things or at minimum, real, honest, and human." Yay, Julie! This is so very true, I winced when I read it. God help us church folk, everyone.
Why can't we church people admit our shallow and fearful lives? Why can't we admit we have the feet of clay of the rest of the world? That our lives are often messed up, confusing, and just as fearful as many who do not embrace the faith that we do. What is going on here, anyway?
What if we could say something like songwriter Sara Groves:
I long for the day when we church people can admit our weaknesses, just to be honest.
We've had every conversation in the world
about what is right and what has all gone bad
but have I mentioned to you that this is all I am,
this is all that I have.
I'm not trying to judge you. That's not my job.
I am just a seeker too, in search of God.
Somewhere somehow this subject became taboo.
I have no other way to communicate to you.
This is all that I am. This is all that I have.