While not all of you have the distinct pleasure and short-circuiting obligation of living in a bizarre liberal enclave in the middle of red state Kansas, it can be stressful. I love my friends regardless of their faith backgrounds and belief’s about God, but bitterly complaining about the church only goes so far.
I go to a church full of people with church wounds. Many people at my church understand what it’s like to be hurt in the name of God, and we certainly can empathize. But after a while, that line of rhetoric gets old. Do you hate the church, or do you hate God? If church people weren’t like “church people”, would you actually be here?
I’m calling the bluff of the people that say they’d show up if ________. If you want the church to be different, love God, love him fully, and bother to be here. You don’t have the right to mock churchy people while relying on convenient caricatures. If you want to actually make the church a better place, show up.
Is it about the church, or is it about God? Is it about surrendering your life, or not wanting your life to be like the people you don’t get along with? Ultimately, your worship is unto Christ. Would you be willing to be on board with that, or are you just wasting everybody’s time?
I don’t complain about atheists, and I don’t complain about agnostics, and most of my church friends are accepting of more offense than the non-Christian friends I know. Most of us actually care. Many of us show up for things. A lot of us care for your children, and are a generally helpful and kind bunch. I’m sick of you insulting an entire group of people because you are sublimating your resentment of God. It’s not about those churchy people who that one time hurt you, because ultimately, it’s you that has to forgive. Even if forgiveness absolutely sucks. A lot of people wouldn’t come to God if he clapped his magical nail-scarred hands in front of their faces and screamed, “Hey, I’m here!” I resent the fact that you find it easier to complain about God’s people than growing a pair and taking your complaints to the Creator, who already hears them. If you want answers, go to God. Stop complaining fruitlessly in a way that makes it impossible to forgive. A lot of us church-folk have been in the place where you’re standing right now, and a lot of your apprehension is at most convenient.
If you want to get legitimate answers and deal with your wounds head on like an adult, ask the one who can answer you and stop blaming the rest of us, regardless of how we actually are in person. There is nothing church people can give if you aren’t willing to let God be God. Maybe you’re hurting because you expected church people to be Jesus and they couldn’t have been, or will never be. Maybe it’s time to accept that expecting other people to be perfect is a short-sighted freaking problem. If you want Jesus, go to Jesus. The rest of us cling to faith, and do our best to talk about him. You should probably seek out the real thing.