I had a conversation the other day with a good friend about the Church (with a capital C) and Christianity here in America. If you know me at all, you can imagine that most of it was sarcastic. Though, thinking back over the conversation… I’m afraid too much of it was true… or at least could appear to be true. The conversation went something like this:
“I think everyone should be a Christian…”
Lately I’ve discovered that it’s a lot easier than I previously thought. You see, I’ve discovered that:
Christians don’t have to work on their marriages any differently than non-Christians.
You can still focus most of your energy on achieving “The American Dream”.
Whatever happens in the privacy of your home is really just between you and your spouse… oh “and God too, but He’s not going say much.”
You’re under no obligation to try to meet the needs of anyone other than yourself and your family.
You don’t lose the right to poke, jab, and /or criticize others who have hurt you.
You don’t have to even mention if something popular is wrong or considered sinful, after all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
You don’t have to worry about having to become a priest, pastor, missionary, or anything like that. There’s really only a few people who have to do that kind of stuff.
There are a few hang ups, but they’re not too bad:
You gotta be pretty good at looking “not so screwed up” on Sunday.
You need to continually work on the art of passive aggressive language and behavior.
You don’t need many, but a few Bible verses are always helpful to have on hand.
And you’ve gotta remember where you are and who you’re with because context is everything. (What might not be ok in one context doesn’t necessary mean it’s always wrong.)
But most importantly, here’s what YOU GET when you’re a Christian:
People are generally nicer to you at church.
If you can figure out the whole context thing, people are really going to think you’ve got your act together. (Especially if you’re willing to put a little “time in” and help out with the kids once in a while.)
You get start off each week fresh… almost like a clean slate.
Ok, enough sarcasm! You get the point.
Here’s the thing. I love Church. I really do. If you would have asked me a few years ago, I’m pretty sure I would have only been able to tell you all about my disappointments with it, but now, I can honestly say I love it. For starters, it’s God’s tool to change the world. He really doesn’t have a plan B… The church is it. Like it or not, Christians are called to live in this world as light in darkness.
The danger with being light in darkness is this though:My eyes get accustomed to the dark.
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with a sick child. I got out of bed, and helped my son. I then went down stairs and got water and made it all the way back up to bed. All of this was done in near pitch-black darkness. Now, while I was walking around, it didn’t seem too dark. There was the light from the outside lamps. The moon was also shining in pretty strong, illuminating the whole house.
…ok, it was dark, but my eyes had grown accustomed to it, and I adjusted.
I can’t help, but to look at my own Christian walk and ask the question: Where have my eyes adjusted? Am I still light? Or am I simply just not looking as dark as everything else. Am I living as though I believe that my life as a follower of Jesus can look the same as the world?