Last night I came downstairs at camp to find two girls talking “What are you talking about?”
“We’re talking about proclamations of faith”
“Oh cool, have you come to any sorts of conclusions?”
One of the girls, Allie, responded after a brief pause. “I think I’ve concluded, that I’m not ready to make one”
“All right. Why not?”
“Well, I just feel like I still need a sign”
“Oh okay, what sort of sign?”
“A sign from God”
“To signal what?”
“That he… Exists, that he sees me. I just feel like nobody out here really gets me”
Allie went on to talk about how she had been an occasionally homeless girl from California, her father had been a pastor, but no longer, and she knew about the church and didn’t feel she was ready to commit to a system which she found to be less loving.
I sat and talked with her for a long time. I agreed with her about the church and the Christian subculture, we’ve been an embarrassment frankly, and a stumbling block to many people in my generation. We’ve been hypocritical, elitist, consumerist, and dogmatic. We’ve been anti-intellectual and politically problematic At times we’ve even been racist, sexist, classist, and violent. But I also challenged her that none of those things should stop her from pursuing Christ
“Jesus didn’t like religious people much either, and he disapproved of all of those same things in the church. I understand the struggle, but don’t let things the two of you agree on keep you guys apart.”
Allie decided that meeting another Californian misfit pastor’s kid was a pretty compelling sign. She prayed with me that night, and told Jesus for the first time that she had decided to follow him with her life.
On this blog, Fear of Whales. I don’t spend a lot of time extolling the virtues of accepting Jesus. I don’t run through the gospel over and over again. I don’t give “turn or burn” speeches. On the other hand I do spend quite a lot of time criticizing the church. I make fun of Christian game night, Christian dating habits, and Christian treatment of other Christians.
I just want to make it clear, in case somehow one of you wandered onto this site without having first made a commitment to Christ; that I do heartily and sincerely recommend it. and I do heartily and sincerely think the church has issues. But those are problems with Christians, not Jesus.
“don’t let things the two of you agree on keep you guys apart.”