“Real Church”, Haters and Generalizations

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?

The average non-Christian’s view of Christians

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.

Christmas Eve service at Flatirons Community Church

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!

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About howhardcoulditbe

While this started as a chronicle of my many (sometimes ill-conceived) "Do It Yourself" projects, it has morphed into a journal of my 9-year journey as a single Christian woman striving to live by God's design.
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4 Responses to “Real Church”, Haters and Generalizations

  1. Andy says:

    Thank you for this… thank you…

  2. David Andrews says:

    I think you are doing a lot of stereotyping here. I whole Idea of old Church and new church doesn’t really add up because God hasn’t changed, so why should we. Now, I mean this in the very foundational beliefs and doctrine of our faith. There is a place for discipleship, where we can talk about our problems with others so we can grow. Also, I feel like if you are playing secular music in a church service, you are going against what worship is all about. What is the motive of playing secular music, to feel good. What’s the band’s motive, to put on a good show, or to bring people into the presence of God? God calls to be in the world, but not of the world. There is a distinct difference between loving someone and loving how they live their life.. I think you said a lot of good, but I also think you need to really think about what Jesus says about following him, he never said it was gonna be comfortable

  3. Hi David,
    For starters, the whole point was that there ARE lots of generalizations out there and I’m requesting that non-Christians not judge Christians and that Christians not throw stones at each other because we don’t appreciate the style of the church they attend.
    Secondly, I agree that DISCIPLESHIP is where we work out the details of obedience/stewardship/etc. I recently had a discussion with my brother in Christ because (if I understood him correctly) there should be more “hellfire and brimstone” coming from the pulpit these days. I think his point was that pastors have gone soft and really needed to emphasize to their congregations the magnitude of the sin they are committing. We need to stick to Biblical authority, but to have the message feel like a finger in the chest is counter-productive.
    Thirdly, we have contemporary worhip music which the congregation sings together. But we also have a “special” that is (more often than not) a secular song. The apostle Paul quoted popular speakers and songs, so why would it be sinful for us to do the same? The intent isn’t to entertain. It’s to make a point. I’ll tell you that after they do such a song in service, from that point forward, whenever I hear the song on the radio, i’m thinking about the service and the message. It takes me back to Jesus. That’s the point. We are a “seekers friendly” church. Not too many seekers listen to Christian radio stations. So when they hear a song on the radio station they normally listen to and it reminds them of Jesus, I call that a victory.
    Finally, there’s no verse in the Bible that requires followers of Jesus to have uncomfortable furniture. That’s all I was saying about “comfort”. Jesus said, “In this life, you will have trouble.” I agree. But I think we break God’s heart when we snipe at other churches instead of building each other up in unity.
    Thanks for your comments. Sorry it took so long for me to respond. I didn’t even know it was here.

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