Oh, here she goes…. one of those right-wing, gay-bashing, abortion clinic bombing hate mongers telling us about why we should be like her. **sigh**. Tell you what, if you’re Muslim, I won’t assume you’re a terrorist, if you’re Jewish, I won’t assume you’re a shyster, and if you’re an atheist, I won’t assume that you are angry and bitter. Then you can give ME the benefit of the doubt, too, ok?
I find it incredibly ironic that what most non-Christians claim to hate about Christians is that we are notoriously judgmental… so they feel justified in judging all Christians for the crimes of those loud-mouthed nitwits that even other Christians can’t stand: “We will judge all Christians as evil because many of them are judgmental.” Think about it.
When I was a kid, there was a song we sang in Sunday School called “I’m in the Lord’s Army”. The idea is that we were to fight EVIL, but some folks got a little confused and thought we were out to do battle with people. Worst of all, the Christian “army” is said to be the only one known for shooting their own wounded.
Agreed– the church got off track. Well imagine that! An organization run by humans that is imperfect!
For the record, if you read the New Testament (the last 1/4 of the Bible), that’s where the stories about Jesus are found. And if you take the time (even if you’re not a Christian) to actually READ these accounts about Jesus, you’ll see that the only people he tore apart were the religious people who were condemning everyone else! Jesus knew how to have a good time, hung out at parties with low-lifes and drew the ire of his religious community. They hated him so much, it was the religious leaders of his time that had him crucified.
I go to a church that knows how to have a good time, invites low-lifes, and draws the ire of other Christians. Sound familiar? The most hilarious comment I hear about our church (by other Christians) is, “Flatirons? That’s not a ‘REAL’ church.” I ask them to define “Real Church”. They stumble through a few things (Biblical authority, yes, that’s us), but what they really mean is that we don’t spend time telling people what a disappointment they are to God. We don’t focus on guilt and shame and pointing fingers. Most of us spend plenty of time doing that to ourselves. We don’t want to sit in uncomfortable seats, sing songs that were written 200 years ago or listen to some guy in a suit telling us how bad we (and lots of the folks we love) are.
God loves us all and he wants to have a loving relationship with us. The other stuff gets worked out in the process. I think of it like dating: I don’t meet a guy and think, “Well what a worthless piece of crap! I’m going to tell him how awful he is and what he needs to do to earn my love!” Instead, I think, “I like this guy. I want to spend some time getting to know him. There are certain behaviors that I don’t like (drunkenness, cheating, lying), and I will have healthy boundaries and let him know if he crosses them. If he loves those behaviors more than he wants to be with me, we will part ways. But if he chooses to grow in ways that benefit him and our relationship, it won’t be because I nagged or shamed him into conformity.”
So yeah, I go to a church that’s lots of fun.
We have an amazing band and frequently play secular music, if it fits the week’s topic. No suits, sometimes no shoes, and definitely no hypocrisy. Our motto is “Me too”. In other words, what ever you’ve done, no matter how bad it is, we’ve been there, done that, and we’re not throwing any stones– just like Jesus teaches us.
We are by no means the only church that promotes this philosophy. This is a movement among this generation of Christians that has been a long time coming. The old model is dying out and more and more people are reconnecting to God as a result.
If by “REAL Church”, you mean boring, condemning, phony and self-righteous, then yeah, I guess we aren’t a “real church.” Thank God!
It’s about time.
Flatirons Community church (videos of services and podcasts) can be found on-line at: http://www.flatironschurch.com
My book, Dating, Sex, & Jesus is now available at Amazon.com. Please “like” the Dating, Sex, & Jesus Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/DatingandJesus for fun and interesting content and book excerpts in your feed. Thanks!