Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Anyone Disgruntled with Christianity... From a Postmodern Jesus Follower

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I believe that it’s important for me to clear some things up. Even though what’s below represents some of my convictions, know that Christianity represents a broad range of beliefs and ideas that are not shared by all. That being said, here are 10 things that I really want to communicate to you:

1) I also get frustrated when christians say one thing, but do the opposite.

2) I don’t understand either why most christians simply refuse to take what Jesus said seriously.

3) I do want to apologize to you for how bad and poor quality the christian entertainment industry usually has been over the years. I am often times embarrassed.

4) Or, maybe I should apologize that there’s even a christian retail market to begin with. Jesus was against materialism, so I suppose that would include things that bear his name also.

5) Not all christians are like televangelists asking for money or like the people in mass crowds handing out pamphlets and holding signs with hateful messages. I apologize for how they’ve distorted your view of christianity. Just know that your frustrations with these and others are shared by christians as well.

6) I don’t like how christianity has meshed with politics either. No matter what the right or the left says, I am sure that Jesus would not be a democrat or a republican. He really isn’t concerned with with such things.

7) I also get angry when I think about all the times through history and to the present where christians have used the name of Jesus to manipulate, create fear, wage wars, or do anything to amass power over land, wealth, or people. Its disgusting. I think Jesus would be very angry.

8) I am so sorry that our churches have not been willing to listen to you, that we haven’t been as welcoming as we should, and that we haven’t loved all people the way Jesus does. I am ashamed that many churches are more concerned with stains on the carpet than loving the broken and the poor. I promise that many of us are trying to bring change in a positive and constructive way.

9) My hope has never been to “convert” you or anyone, but rather, to get dialogue started, ask for your forgiveness, and remind you through my words and especially my actions that God loves you, and nothing you could ever do could change his unwavering love for you (or even the people mentioned in #5).

10) Don’t expect that because I follow Jesus I am trying to be perfect or that I am trying to convince people that I'm perfect. I have issues, mistakes, and problems in my life too. But, this in no way makes my efforts to be like Jesus less genuine. Without them, I will never grow or learn.

I hope this clears some things up between us.  I wanted to let you know that it's difficult for me to understand you when you say that you’re open minded, but think anyone willing to bear the label “christian” is automatically intolerant, ignorant, or gullible. Please be open to the possibility that you don’t have us all figured out.

Even though I've mentioned above the many ways that my religion has failed, and will continue to get it wrong in the future, I am still a Christian and I believe that participation in church is important.  We have to start understanding that the church is simply a group of admittedly broken people attempting to do what Jesus asked of his disciples together.

So many people leave the church because they are tired of christians being hypocrites.  But, I hope we all can come to the conclusion that the church is supposed to be a group of transparent sinners striving to do better through God.  If this could happen, no one would have so much of an issue with us being hypocrites because we wouldn't be hiding that fact. Ever. We should be embracing it.  If we were anything more, we would have no need for a savior.

I hope that we can start some really good conversations sometime soon.

God is Love,

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If you want to share this, feel free to post a link to it on twitter, facebook, or wherever.  If you have an issue with anything I've written here, let's get a conversation started.

1 comment:

  1. Andy,
    I really really like this. Its everything I've tried to say in much better words. Fantastic job. I stand beside you in all of this!!
    Amanda Isenhour