Since the contretemps with the Christian Booksellers’ Association in early summer I’ve found myself reading more blogs by Christians–specifically authors who write books for other Christians’ enjoyment.
It’s become a singularly frustrating experience.
I realise that I’m generalising here, because I don’t honestly wish to write 2000 words of blog entry today, and I’ve already topped 800. But in reading these blogs I see endless discussions about basic Christian theologic doctrine. You know the drill–is there such thing as original sin? Is there such a thing as hell? It’s a lot of focus on flaws and failures. Oh, woe is me! I’ve sinned. I cannot be helped because I’m so flawed! On and on and on. The blog entries and the comments are full of Biblical references, talk of devotion and the always-entertaining Book of The Revelation. I swear that Christians are treating that book not as a mystical epistle but as our version of comics. “Here’s Where Jesus-Lantern Kicks Satan’s A—!” “Ohh boy! Dragons!”
Meanwhile…on this planet and in this time period…
There are hungry people. There are people without clothes or shoes. There are sick people in pain who live in countries where the only doctor is hundreds of miles away and the only way to get there is to walk.
There are people in your own neighbourhood who are suffering because they’ve lost a job and their house most likely is the next thing to go. There are women who are dying from the slow ache of not being able to have a baby. Women dying of the fast ache of having too many babies and no way to feed them.
How does sitting around amongst ourselves and talking over the same Sunday School points ad nauseum actually proclaim the Grace to a world that needs it? You know, I’m starting to feel like it doesn’t. It’s just a sanctified version of arguing about politics or the weather. Nothing is changed but we feel good because we talked about it so well.
A quick read through the Gospels shows that Jesus spent very little time in the Temple talking about theology with other Rabbis. He did do that, of course. But he spent vastly more time going from place to place healing the sick, feeding the hungry and presenting the good news of Grace.
Are you the twelve year old Jesus sitting in the temple? Not yet a man, still a child. Or are you the adult Jesus, walking the dusty streets and changing your world one bleeding woman at a time?