Thing 2

So, @kewl_briize wrote a thing for Unfit Christian
And then I wrote a thing, inspired by her thing, 
after it almost left me, any my wife, in tears. 
Check out her original post here

Christian culture is people feigning concern and drawing conclusions about your spiritual and material wellbeing based solely on your church attendance, or lack thereof, unaware of the fact that not going is the only thing keeping you from unraveling.

Someone’s absence from Church doesn’t mean they’ve strayed from Christ any more than someone’s presence in church means they can actually hear God's voice.

Thankfully, God is not limited by the imaginations of His followers, many of whom believe steadfast worship and spiritual fellowship can only take place in between the pews on Sunday, and that His presence can only be felt within the four walls of the sanctuary.
Here's our problem today...we have too many Christians who have accepted Jesus into their hearts and who have been baptized and who have confessed their sins and who have joined the Church and who are in Bible studies and who are absolutely 100 percent convinced they are going to heaven, but who are not followers of Jesus. There are many who haven't made it real. The mark of a follower of Jesus is that she or he has given Jesus her or his heart. It's that simple. It's that demanding. It's that serious. Jesus was a moral zealot and he expected his followers to become moral zealots too. He wanted them to live the Committed Life. - Scot McKnight
Many of us have forged a community of believers outside of the church who yearn or more than the comfort and complacency of yesterday, where we all go through the motions in hopes of keeping a salvation that we never earned in the first place. Rejecting a church culture that prioritizes mere presence and performance over purpose is not a rejection of Christ, but a reflection of Him.
"God's church exists not for itself but for the benefit of those who are not yet members...[and] the church which lives for itself will be sure to die by itself. The church is not a religious club and it does not have a secular mission. Instead, it is a worshipping and sending community." - Michael Green
The church shouldn’t feel like a book club gathering where everyone gathers for a moment and afterwards retreats to their respective communities with all their biases and prejudices still intact, never once feeling confronted or challenged by God’s word and by fellow believers whose relative power and privilege is less than.

The church should be a place where the status quo of racism, misogyny, homophobia are subverted with boldness. It should be a place where poor, immigrant, trans, femme, disabled, fat, tattooed, uneducated folks feel safe and are welcomed with open arms, and where God's love is shown through the meeting of folk's material and physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs--with no prerequisites.

Expecting people to conform to man-made, unbiblical standards of what Christianity should look like as prerequisite to love and affirmation is not of God. The church fools itself in thinking that it’s nothing like the world just because it says so.  The Church is just as guilty of the sin of oppressive, abusive behavior toward marginalized folks as the world. This should not be so. In the words of Brandi Miller, “We deceive ourselves if we believe that Jesus was more into individual transformation & salvation than corporate, communal and systemic renewal.”

Thankfully, God gives us the spirit of discernment to know that when we’re dying of thirst, it’s OK to search for the Water of Life elsewhere. And that search may be slow and nonlinear. It may be inconsistent. It may lead us to a sanctuary and it may lead us right out of it. But God will sit right there with us in our frustration and doubt and worry.  And in the meantime, we can continue to love, serve and defend others, even those that the church rejects, in Jesus’ name.

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