[image via The Resurgence]
Christian culture likes to dissect prominent Christians’ lives and figure out how they do stuff. They study what their daily life looks like, how they balance family and ministry, how many books they’ve published, and how large their churches that they founded are. Then they make study groups based on this or preach a sermon series on it. It makes us feel good to get it down in black and white so we can have steps mapped out.
Faith is uncomfortable and illogical but when you distract yourself with details then you don’t need it. Faith requires sitting in the discomfort, feeling tension and wrestling with God and unfortunately it requires doubt, which is scary because then you question your own worth, your worldview and God’s very existence. This is not fun.
Human nature rejects gray areas and we would way rather have a goal to work towards so we can feel accomplished about something. A sermon series on a “successful” Christian or a Christian labled “arguably the greatest” at anything (preaching, church planting, parenting, serving, leadership) is pleasantly distracting and even inspiring but if Jesus didn’t need to die in order for that sermon to be preached, then it’s not a Christian sermon.
Formulas are at the core of Christian culture: distract yourself from the unsavory realities of faith and relationship and focus instead on projects and being “certain” instead of “struggling with God.” It really is a lot easier this way, but the price is that you can’t be a whole person.