What if this, our most recent apocalypse, was met by a Church willing to do more than hastily broadcast its services online – a Church willing to love, serve and give up itself, and even its budget, for the sake of the world?
Reclaiming ways of talking collectively about the great harm our culture demands we do to one another in order to survive – without turning ourselves and other people into the problem (into sinners) – is the whole purpose of atonement: to scapegoat the scapegoat and not one another.
I have come to realize that Christianity hasn’t, doesn’t and won’t ever need saving. At its best, Christianity is a faith that dies again and again and again for the sake of other people.
This question – whether or not anyone can believe in God without reward – drives the work and witness of so many of my LGBTQ faith heroes who practice Christianity despite being rejected by and cut off from “the true Church.”
The American Church’s anxiety and desperation to survive – much like that of our nation’s reeling education system – frequently occludes its view of how to be helpful both to the world and to itself.
Who better than a pastor – called to live in a peculiar way on behalf of a group of people unable to live this way most days – to practice the art of prophetically being one’s authentic self, rather than attempting to be one’s best, most marketable self?
Trump isn’t altogether wrong – gun deaths in America are driven by a mental health crisis. However, instead of that un-wellness resting upon a lone shooter or evil terrorist, it is visited upon all of us who still believe that the same circular conversation will actually result in something different.
When there are four year olds in jail at the border and the Arctic Circle hits 80 degrees, it’s time to find out why exactly the world needs the unending existence of our aging fellowship hall and sparsely-populated sanctuary. If we don’t know the answer, I’m not so sure Millennial church members are going to pull us out of that tailspin.
Of the 25 to 30 students, adults, married couples and whole families I see each week in my practice as a psychotherapist, almost nothing is more difficult to overcome than our collective commitment to the anxious pursuit of happiness at all costs.