This post over at Reason to Stand is the kind of post that I wish I had written.
There is an old saying that “war is hell”. That saying applies as much to ideological warfare as it does to physical warfare. Sure, the pain and consequences are often (though not necessarily) radically different, but the brutality is no less real.
I am constantly amazed by other Christians who oooh and ahhh when I relay stories of past exploits where I’ve engaged people from various ideological backgrounds. They are usually enamored by such tailes and some even form a desire to join in such exploits themselves among the people they encounter on a daily basis.
But for far too many, it ends there. I never see them later and hear their grand tales of past exploits. They never take the steps to become a warrior.
Why is that?
And then he quotes a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer which has a special meaning for me. I know that quote very well.
This post really struck at the core of my frustration with the church. Basically, the biggest problem with church is that it is all about having fun and having your emotions tickled. There is no part of church that suggests the idea that being an authentic Christian might require any work at all. And certainly nothing to make you think that being a Christian might involve any conflict – like opposing atheism in debates, or opposing abortion, or even secularized public schools that teach evolution and sex education with taxpayer money.
I was recently listening to an episode of Unbelievable where an atheistic female politician was debating Os Guinness, who I consider to be a functional atheist. But forget about the debate. The main thing that was interesting was that the woman was quite a high ranking politician and she attended church because she enjoyed the beautiful building, the community of nice people dressed up, and especially the nice music and singing. But, her actual beliefs were atheistic.
I actually know a few women who are pro-abortion, pro-same-sex-marriage, pro-big-government, who also enjoy attending church for the singing, and such. And my point is that church, as Wes noted in his post, does nothing to tell people that there is anything more to Christianity than singing, pageantry and community. What matters is the show. In Catholic and Orthodox churches, the show is the liturgy. In Protestant churches, the show is the dancing and the singing and the talking about life having meaning and someone looking out for us who will give us goodies no matter what we do.
Do you know who gets left out of the church in this picture? People who actually think that Christianity is true, and who know how to talk about it, and how to live it out. It’s disgusting. Read Wes’ post and think about it. We need to be celebrating our warriors, not the pastors and especially not the worship leaders. The people who actually talk about Christianity outside the church. That should be the marker of authentic Christianity – not singing, and not talking about things from a pulpit in a sing-song voice.