Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sacred People (part 1)

In this series of articles we're examining the life of Jesus to see what a truly sacred person looks like. And it may not be the most spiritual or holy person, although that's what we've been led to believe.  What we discover may shock you.

Just be real

The lady that cuts my hair is a trip! (in a good way)  She has multiple tattoos (almost a full sleeve), multiple piercings, WILD hair colors and likes "eccentric" clothing.  She's nothing like me, except for our mutual gift for sarcasm and honesty :)  One day she told how she used to go to church with her parents, but never really fit in because she asked too many questions.  Questions make religious people nervous because they bring up uncomfortable topics.  Apparently in a church you’re supposed to stick to the script!  So she finally came to the conclusion that, “I don’t belong in a church.”

Unfortunately I could tell you story after story after story that has exactly the same ending.  This breaks my heart!  We have FAILED in our primary assignment – to represent Jesus to a broken world.

The Jesus I read about in the Bible ruffled the feathers of the religious leaders because He hung out with unholy people.  He was a regular guest at parties of disreputable people.  This wasn't what holy people were supposed to do!  He quickly gained the reputation as a “friend of sinners and tax collectors.”  The religious people meant to shame Him into submission with this title.   He wore it as a badge of honor.  

When we think of the term "sacred," images of these religious leaders, monks, nuns and priests come to mind.  Jesus wants to redefine the term for us.  When we take a look at His life we see what it truly means to be sacred.

A doctor once told me that there are more sick people walking around on the street than there are in the hospital.  He said, "At least the ones in the hospital are getting help."  In the same way, people inside our churches deal with the very same issues, problems and attitudes as those on the outside.  We just don't feel safe being honest about it.

In many churches there is an expectation that a good Christian doesn't have struggles.  Because of this many believers have learned to put on a good "game face."  We refuse to admit weakness.  It's as if we think it's a sin to be real.

But if we are going to truly represents Jesus' heart, we MUST learn to be real.  We have to make our churches safe places to process life.  We have to stop putting ministers on a pedestal and realize they are just as human as everybody else.  We can't afford to be fake any longer.  If we are ever going to impact a world that is sprinting away from God, or is at least “done with Christianity” we MUST learn to be honest about our struggles.  Sacred people are authentic.  As a matter of fact, it is this very vulnerability that gives us credibility in the eyes of outsiders.

What things are you doing at your church to make it a safe place for people that are far from God?  Join the conversation by adding your comments below.

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