You might have seen this video running around the interwebs as of late…
[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY[/youtube]
While the video makes some decent to good points, my issue isn’t the video. My issues is with some of the comments via this video. comments such as…
“This is so true! the church is full of hypocrites!”
“That’s why I stopped going to church, because I felt like I was being judged.”
“People are so fake at church”
“The church has hurt me so much”
While I do believe all of the above comments…well, because I have experienced all of those too. All of them…more than once, sometimes all at the same time. I have experienced and caused such hurt that it’s ridiculous. I have been stabbed in the back by “church people” that it really doesn’t bother me any more. I have seen “church people” try to manipulate pastors through various avenues…money, influence, black mail. I have seen pastor friends of mine on more than one occasion pushed out to make way for something new. I have seen “church people” try and sue their pastor. I have had people attack me personally and talk bad about me.
I’ve experienced that good, the bad and the ugly of “RELIGION”…but I think we need to be careful of what we are calling it.
Religion defined is…
1) a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing amoral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2) a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3) the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4) the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5) the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.
So by definition Religion isn’t a bad thing…it’s the people of this Religion. You and me.
Of course there are going to be “hypocrites” in church. We are all broken and fallen people in desperate need of a Savior. We are all works in progress. So why are you going to be mad as some who isn’t done with his/her walk with Christ? You don’t get mad when you are at a hospital do you? Do you say “Why are all these sick people here?” I know it’s deeper than that but I hope you get my point.
I think some of us love this idea of a “Hippie Jesus”. We want all the Love of Christ but none of the responsibilities. We want everything without working for anything. It amazes me how many people I know that have stopped going to church or stopped believing all together . It’s sad really. So where am I going? Well here it is. I understand where people are coming from. I really do. If you don’t believe me, I would love to share with you my life story. I could be the one on the front line screaming and kicking about how bad “the church” is or how the church is full of hypocrites. But I am not. I love the church no matter how broken it is or may seem to be. I love it’s people, no matter how broken they are or may seem to be. I will not give up on either and I will die for both. While some have bowed out of “RELIGION” for various reasons, I will not. I will not give up. Maybe, just maybe if we stopped pointing fingers…maybe.