This is how I feel about Christians…
Spoken work poet and hip hop artist Propaganda has a track called “Precious Puritans” and in it he says, “I get it, but I don’t get it… ask my wife” Oh how I [and Jenna] can relate to that statement. There are so many aspects of life, faith, marriage, parenthood, etc. that I get, but don’t always get.
When I became a Christian at age 18 I was bombarded with the idea that everything I had ever done was wicked and “Christians don’t do those things” – which naturally led me to be a judgmental asshole to my friends and family, because when life becomes a game of us vs. them, it is truly impossible to view and interact with people fairly.
The whole time that I was preaching to people that they should “stop their sinful ways”, I was sowing seeds of being a single, horny young man. I was such a douche when my message and my actions didn’t align and I said shit like, “this is just the thorn in my flesh” and I would quote those famous words from Paul’s 2nd known letter to the church in Corinth. And because I’m persuasive and even manipulative with my words, I dismissed my actions and took little to no responsibility.Then my “christiandom” fell like a sweet round of bar Jenga with 2×4’s rather than the small wooden rectangles. When I wiped the churchy scales from my eyes after I walked away from my role as “frontman” of a christian rock n roll band, and my pastor who promised me a job as his ‘Associate’ was caught in an affair with the church paper-pusher. I had some reality to face… and in that moment, I decided that I was spiritual and intellectual enough to conclude that God didn’t care and Christianity was for the birds.
The insides of the church are equally as dirty as puke covered night club stalls.
After these experiences, I quit talking about being a Christian and I started doing the things I was already doing in the light rather than the shadows… But I took it to a whole new level – I drank my ass off! Working as a bartender in the restaurant industry made it easy to keep my styrofoam To-Go cup full of booze and equally as easy to take the cash I made to the bar down the street and drink as many rounds of “Shot of Jaeger & a Miller Lite for $5” as I could before the bar closed. Being the 23 year old mature human that I was, I drove home drunk every night after we partied. My goals during this season of life were to be drunk as often as I could, and see how many chicks I could make out with and get naked. Some would call this a “low point”.
This downward spiral of selfish indulgence led me to a church parking lot, thanking God that I hadn’t died and begging Him to prove to me [again] that He was real… Sobbing and miserable I reached my thumbs into the middle of my bible and pulled them apart and focused my eyes on a few words that literally saved me.
This was the part in the story where the hero finds a way to pull his beaten body off of the ground and continues to fight.Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me O’ God and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me on the path of everlasting life.”
Since this moment, I have been on a journey of extending grace to the extend that I was spiritually, emotionally and mentally capable… And let me assure you that this is a very long road,
See, I get it, but I don’t get it…
This is just one excerpt from my life as a Christian – And I get it… I get how easy it can be to hold closely to the idea that “Christians don’t do that” or “Christians don’t hang out with them“, I get the ‘us vs. them’ mentality. I get the internal guilt that comes with living a “double life”.
What I don’t get is why Christians have such a hard time remembering their sin, their journey, the struggle and fight that it takes to accept and embrace God’s grace that sets us free. And even more I don’t get why Christians fight for their right to judge the person we once were rather than extending grace and love that has transformed us into the men/women we are! Rather than worrying about your own process of sanctification, why spend so much time and energy on people who are different than you and are at different points of their own process of sanctification?