I love cookie cutters. We got these sweet princess themed ones for Calista’s birthday. We eat castle PB and J’s, grilled cheese crowns and glass slipper cheese slices.
What I don’t like is how Christianity – especially the “religion” Christianity – is seen like a cookie cutter. I just read Dan Savage and his possibly honest critique of “Christians.” He nailed us on not obeying the Bible in some areas (sex, divorce) while others we tout and lord over others (abortion, homosexuality). For lack of a better term, I’ll say “outsiders.” Some outsiders do assume that when we say we are Christians, we mean Republican, conservative, prudish, judgmental, brainless… need I go on?
For more on Savage (see http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/05/dan-savage-accused-of-bullying-promoting-promiscuity/).
But perhaps what drives me more nuts is when people on the “inside” start doing it. I may be treading on some thin ice and I may even be wrong, but hear me out. Since when did we assume that there is one way to follow Jesus? And has The Great Commission somehow become the first commandment? I’m talking about some of what is happening in the fight for a justice-driven, missional, radical church or people.
I am getting tired of reading the same challenges: stop drinking lattes and give to the poor. Go to the ends of the earth and stop taking vacations.
OK – for the record. I am on board with most of the ideas. We need to hear these voices. Give radically. Go to the ends of the earth (I do like the Bible, just so you know). I’m on staff with an organization that sometimes gets critiqued about the lack of evangelism and too much justice. I get it. I really do.
Are we materialistic in this world? Yes. Are there better ways to use our money and fix some problems on the planet? Yep. I’d rather we invest in people in Africa who need water than search other planets to see if there is water or platinum on them (see http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/news/billionaires-aim-to-make-trillions-mining-asteroids-8310208)
But what I’m not on board for is making some hierarchy for true discipleship. If we give more money that is somehow more godly than our spiritual discipline. Or if we are out talking to all of our neighbors daily about Jesus, that is more important than loving our spouses.
What happened to seeking God? Listening to the whole word of God. Using our brains. God said go, but I believe He also says stay – Jeremiah 29. Matthew 10:11.
What happened to loving God with everything I have and am? And if I would be so bold, how are we corporately respond to the call to go, not just individuals making decisions to really follow Jesus?
As the outside critiques swirl around our heads and as finger pointing happens within our church families, doesn’t it just make you want Jesus to come back? Doesn’t it make you throw up your hands and say – what the bleep?
If I can be so bold (or cheesy), we are cookies created in His Image. I think our tasks include knowing so we know His shape and purpose. Secondly, somehow, we are called to live that out. Yikes. But does that mean we are look the same?
Perhaps when we look at our global church as a whole, and not just at individuals, we begin to see the broader shape of God. Some of us get some things right, some wrong. But hopefully, as a whole, we are growing closer to His image.
And in case any of you are thinking the same thing, I am hoping and praying God brings some lumberjacks to deal with the huge logs in my eyes as I focus on the specks elsewhere.