I'm sorry...is this Church? or High School Musical?
She folded her arms across me and peered around as if she were sitting in church and said, "I sit there and it think to myself, I don't look like them. My hair is not all done, my makeup is not that flawless and I definitely don't dress like that. I sit there and I think, if this is church I don't know if I really believe in it."
One Easter, I went to a service that almost made me want to stand up and scream and shoot bullets in the air just to get people's attention. It was like a high school musical for Christians and I can't lie, I hated everything about it. I kept asking "but where is MY Jesus?! Where are the raw and bloody aspects of his death for the sake of our redemption? Why can't I find him hidden behind your cheesy song performance?"
Lately, There have been way too many churches focused on the SHOW of Christianity and faith, instead of actually BEING those things. Church services have become a place we come and walk around like we have it all together, like our lives are just so good, everything is just so good. As if church is supposed to be the place where we play games of best dressed and most put together. As if the purpose of church is so that our comfort is tickled, we get all warm and fuzzy and leave feeling great until we can get our next fix.
Since when was this ever about a performance? Since when was this ever even really about us?
If we have people who cannot see Christ through us because we have put on such a show with this walk, we are doing something wrong. Horribly wrong.
When we finally come to terms with why we walk around church like it’s a show, we will be struck in the face with our hypocrisy. We will stop demanding for comfortable and to be fed so full of contentment but we will asked to be wrecked, asked to be humbled, to remember our brokenness and seek the only person who can make us whole.
We are straight stupid to assume that we have this whole "Christian" thing down. Because we don't. Because we have people who feel ostracized because they are coming to terms that they are going through it and we make them feel like they're the only ones.
We have lost the sacredness in meeting once a week to be reminded that we don't have it all together, that we are not cookie cutter print outs of perfection but we are searching and broken human beings who need the Grace of God everyday.
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them." (6:1, ESV) "It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding." (6:1, MSG)
I dare say, a lot of our churches have become a warehouse of Pharisees versus a sanctuary for sinners. With our high school musical shows and comfy sermons. Our theological discussion that pointlessly goes around in circles so someone can be "right".
The God who made us does not want the spectacle, he wants the surrender. The obedience in admitting that we NEED him. That we are not put together, far from perfect and we are broken. That the story of grace is just as necessary today as it was yesterday.
My generation is leaving the church because we can see past the spectacle and see that there is nothing but superficial and pious people sitting on their high horses.
My generation is leaving churches because we want to find who God really is.
Because we don't want to go to a fashion show every Sunday.
I told the girl I mentioned before that she needs to find the rawness of who God is again. And if her heart is in it and with him, he'll meet her there.
My generation is leaving churches because while they're painting a picture of a genie god. We're trying so desperately to find a God who meets us where we're at. Meets us in the search for the rawness of who he truly is.
This was never meant to be a show. It was meant to be sacred. And the best part of sacred? There is no perfection there. It is the most beautiful combination of uneasy, coming to terms with our shortcomings and having it all being overwhelmed by the understanding that we serve a God who wants every broken piece of us.
Somehow, we have missed the nitty and gritty of who God is and what he's doing. That place we gather once, twice (maybe more) is not a catwalk for the perfect,
It is a sanctuary for the broken. Broken as in us, all of us.
Where we lay our pieces at his alter and watch as he so diligently glues us back together.
I’m tired of high school musical spectacles, of putting on a show, of pretending that we are perfect.
There is a rawness that we’re missing and I think it’s time we find it.
Shameless plug & disclaimer: I attend Fellowship Monrovia and love it. It's one of those churches that reminds us of the rawness of who God is and what he is doing. Check it out.
I'm not saying these churches are non existent, but they are hard to find.