Thursday, June 23, 2005

Culture Difference or Christian Intolerance

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. There has been so much talk and frustration over the words "post-modern." I wonder if the culture that we have been referring to as of late as the "post-modern" culture really isn't just a group of people screaming out for help as a result of all of the pain in their life. I have also been pondering the question: "Why does the church have such a problem with this "post-modern" culture?

Here are my thoughts:

I think that there has always been pain in the world, but the way it was handled has been different through the ages. I will use the topic of divorce to illustrate my point. Ages ago, divorce was unthinkable. It was avoided like the plague. Than it moved to place where divorce happened, but then the woman was considered unclean and unfit to remarry. Then divorce become more common, but something to try to be avoided. Now divorce has become the easy way out of a commitment that was not thought through completely. This being said, I agree, yes culture has changed....in that it is more accepting of things that once were looked down upon. This is both good and bad.

I say that this is both good and bad because our world is now promoting things that are unbiblical, when once our society had been founded in high morals and biblical truths. While this change in the world has been happening, there has also been a change in the church. Instead of existing to be among the people it was trying to shepherd toward Christ, it began closing it's walls trying to "protect" itself from the world, as if it was a deadly illness. This is where we find ourselves today.

We are in a world that is full of more pain than ever, but we are part of the church that has closed itself off so far from the world, that the people within the church even have trouble admitting their own faults, let alone accepting and loving those outside of the church.

I don't think the problem in the church is "modern" vs. "post-modern." The church has created a bubble effect. It's as if in order to be part of the church you have to fit in this bubble and somehow being in this bubble means that you can't have pain or struggles that cause you to sin. While we know that no matter how hard we try we will always sin, because the only perfect person to walk this earth was Christ, the church has made it hard for people to admit their faults, thus making us appear to be hypocrites because people on the outside hear the message being preached, but see that the lives being lived by the people preaching just don't match up.

It's time that we let people know that Christians aren't perfect and they don't have to be. What we do need to be is loving and accepting of all of God's children. This does not mean we have to promote unbiblical behavior, but it does mean we have to love unconditionally and walk along side our brothers and sisters and help them in whatever areas they need it.

If anyone had the right to hold their perfection over our heads it was Christ and He didn't even do that. Who are we to try to appear as if we've got it all together? It almost contradicts why we need Christ. The very reason we need him, is because we don't have it all together.

So, as mentioned earlier, I wonder: is the difference the church is resisting with this "post-modern" term really that it's too accepting or is it because the church would have to admit their inconsistent unconditional love that Christ calls us to? The church has become quite intolerant of many things and has done a bad job of loving the sinner and hating the sin. They have become very good at making the sinner feel like crap and unworthy to walk through the doors of what is suppose to be such a loving, welcoming place

5 comments:

Maryellen said...

Thanks for visiting my site. I just read through some of your posts. Sounds like you have had some hard times. I was looking for a job last year at this time. After working at one school for 5 years I had to move on. The job I got was sure not the job I had in mind...but the LORD knew what was best and I really enjoyed it...looking forward to another exciting year, which for us in New Mexico begins on August 11.

Flip said...

I really liked your post. You said: "It's as if in order to be part of the church you have to fit in this bubble and somehow being in this bubble means that you can't have pain or struggles that cause you to sin." This really hit me as I have experienced being in and outside of the "bubble".

Not all Christians are judgmental - but the ones who are cause the most damage by alienating the people who don't fit in the "bubble". When that happens, it can drive the person even further from God to the point of no return.

Kim said...

It amazes me how much I underestimate the potential for wisdom in a young person. At 42 I'm old enough to think you are very young -- yet reading this post I see you are wise beyond your years.

I think the pendulum swings -- loving the sinner, forgetting the sin (that doesn't work) then we hate the sin and the sinner along with it (clearly not right either). Jesus didn't say it would be easy -- and I think if it was we wouldn't need Him so much!

I will certainly be praying for your ministry. I think you have a really lucky group of High Schoolers on your hands. God Bless you -- and May He create in you a safe and welcoming place (I think He already has...)

WoundedHealer said...

You may be able to find some insight and relief at the post by Meg: Bridget Jones Goes to Seminary: Fundy Sunday
It helped me with some of what you are talking about. Keep on keeping on:)

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