Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bars, Jesus and Beer

I wrote this post about a week ago.  I felt strongly when I wrote it, but then got scared as I thought about posting it.  People will think I'm nuts.  I will totally be judged for posting this.  I can't let anyone see this God...  Then two days later my friend messaged me this video.  It was complete confirmation that I needed to share this on my blog.  The next few posts will be the essay I wrote last week. Comments welcomed.

Us Christians have it all wrong, ya know?

I’ve spent my summer really listening to people.  Teenagers, old folk, twenty-somethings.  They all tell me the same thing.  They are sick of religion and they have tattoos to prove it.  At the same time, they crave the raw, real relationship their Father gives them.  They want love.  They want the Lord.  They want renewed strength from Jesus.  They long for a glimpse of his hair and a feel of his robe.  They want all this with everything they have in them, but they have all come to the conclusion that church is not the way.
At all.

And I get it now, they’re right.  Really, really, right.

At church people feel judged.  They scrounge around for hours looking for some form of 90’s button up apparel that makes them look like their grandparents dressed them.  They comb their hair over and straighten their back, closing their teeth and hiding their crap.

Then they panic, sweat, and breathe heavy as they try to walk through the front doors of the church, the holy dwelling place of God’s people.

What will they think of me?  What will they say?  Will they accept me?  Am I dressed too formal?  Crap.  Why is he wearing jeans??!

Many of these people walk out in the middle of the sermon, never to return again.  Others barely make it to the pew before some smart Christian slips a lip.

Others suck it up, die on the inside, and resolve to thinking that’s all there is.  They hide their sin, week in and week out, and live sad lives wishing there was someone, anyone, who understood.

Funny.  When I think about it, people reacted the opposite way to Jesus.

They fled to his garments.  They wanted just a touch of his hand, a glimpse of his eyes, and a piece of his healing powers.  They wanted to watch him cast out demons, raise the dead, and heal the blind.  They clung to his love and powers like none other.  They DESIRED him.  They didn’t feel uncomfortable, judged, or stressed.  In fact, they came just as they were…dirty, beaten, and bleeding.  Addictions, imperfections, and shortcomings were widely welcomed.  They knew he wouldn’t care.  And you know what, he never turned a judgmental eye, never turned them away, never thought twice about their character or hair style.

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters,
but a man of understanding draws them out."
Proverbs 20:5

"While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and 'sinners' were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the 'sinners' and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners'?"  

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Mark 2:15-17