This has been a summer where every ounce of optimism I had about being a Christian was vaporized like so much water in the California drought of public opinion. This has been a summer like so many others that will stand as the harbinger of things to come. From ISIS to Ukraine to Ferguson to Immigration to Wall Street the world has changed, and not for the better. But that’s not what has sapped my hope for Christianity. That sapping is the result of the response of so many well-meaning (and that’s my best hope for them) Christians to the events that I’ve just mentioned.
My God, what a world You love.
Christians. We are anything but. “The world will know you by your love” – Is that how you’re known? That’s not how I know you. I know you by your vitriol for anything you disagree with. I know you by your justification of systemic sin if it benefits you. I know you for your anger about what others do to water down the gospel, conform to the media’s agenda, or take resources from the mouth of your children and give it to those less deserving.
I know you because I am you.
And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the fact that I am a part of it, and that everything I do or say is a part of the problem. We are the problem. Christian! You are the problem! Sin is not the problem, you are sin to those you are trying to save! If you tell someone to repent of their sin while to them you represent everything evil they will not listen. And it is on you if they fail to, because the gospel you’ve presented is a sham.
Our gospel is a sham because it is not good news.
I’ve nothing hopeful to offer in conclusion. I’ve no good thing to say that will soothe the wound my words have opened, because the wound should not be soothed.
Bleed with those whom your words have severed. Let the dust drink up your blood like the blood of your brother. Suffer the rebuke that strikes me even as it strikes you. Know that I am you. I need to change. I don’t know how, and I don’t imagine grace will fix it without sacrifice.
God, show us how to be like Jesus in the power of your Spirit. Show us how to be for others in love.