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Picky, Picky

Photo by tostadophoto.com via Flickr (creative commons)

Apparently contentment is not a Christian virtue anymore.

If you hang out with Christians for any length of time, you’d think pickiness is a requirement of the faith.

  • “I really wasn’t into the message on Sunday. I mean, 95% of it was cool… but he said something about fathers I didn’t agree with. So I tuned him out.”
  • “We haven’t found the right church, we’ve been looking around, and nothing quite fits us.”
  • “I’m definitely not called to singleness, but I just haven’t found the right guy.”
  • “I used to be into the NIV, but I had to switch because I just don’t like the gender exclusive language.”
  • “I would help with the kids ministry, but [sipping a latte from Starbucks] my Sunday mornings are just too busy already.”
  • “I could never go to a church if the staff is a bunch of white males.”
  • “My church serves little snacks-n-stuff after the service. Which is cool, but I can’t believe they serve cheap pastries and coffee that isn’t fair trade. I mean, that’s gross on a lot of levels.”

Need I go on?

We live in communities that are reached by fewer than 10% of the population and yet we worry about this crap? Seriously? It’s like your house being on fire and being more worried about saving your wedding photos than your children.

Shame on us. Shame on us for caring more about the desires of the 10% who come than the 90% who don’t. Shame on us for being so bored that we care about the things that don’t matter instead of simply obeying what Scripture teaches. Shame on us for making grey areas, black and white areas. Shame on us for blaming our inability to fulfill the Great Commission on issues.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” — Jesus

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5 Responses to Picky, Picky

  1. gavin richardson April 6, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    oh but adam! the 10% pay the bills… actually, studies will generally show they don’t either, but its a fun devils advocate remark. &:~)

    went to the pete rollins insurrection tour thing last night here in nashville and he told a full little story. short: a guy had this wheel barrow and started taking it across country lines smuggling junk. authorities heard he was smuggling things of great worth. the police stopped the man looked into his wheelbarrow and saw nothing but worthless junk. still the authorities kept hearing he was smuggling stuff. the police stopped the man and made a deal, ‘show us this valuable thing you’re smuggling. we won’t arrest you, we just want to know.’ the man told them “wheelbarrows!” we get so focused on the innards of others we forget the thing that carries.

  2. renee altson April 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    As I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that some of those concerns are valid. While they might sound pretentious to some, they might be very important.

    One example is the gender exclusive Bible. I can honestly tell you that my first NRSV changed my life. Seriously. Reading “brothers and sisters” made me cry… Coming from an extremely fundamental and abusive church, I desperately needed that affirmation and encouragement; in fact, I needed it more than I knew.

    I also resonate with the “staff is a bunch of white males” concern.

    Again, coming from a very abusive, fundamental church, I never felt supported by women. In fact, women were simply men’s appliances. Showcased and perfect, they had no voice, and were silenced if they tried to speak up.

    As far as the fair trade and “cheap pastries” comment, a part of me says it is very important to value fair trade, but maybe they could bring the pastries next time.

    I don’t hear those kind of actual comments from people (because I am currently not attending church anywhere), but I do imagine the reasons behind some of them. And your implication is the 10% of people who are too spoiled, or who have it too good, already.

    I think there are more than 10% out there who are NOT attending church who would appreciate inclusive language, a varied church staff and maybe even some fair trade coffee. It’s part of the global calling of Christ.

    Don’t get me wrong- I get what you’re saying. I do. I just also think that some of that pickiness might actually be valid. Maybe not from the way that particular person expresses it, or if they are trying to be something they’re not when they say it, but in the whole community of both those who believe and those who have yet to.

    As I said earlier, an inclusive Bible and inclusive staff were revolutionary to rediscovering my faith. I know I can’t be the only one out there.

  3. Len April 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    It is easier to moan and whine about the things we do not like instead of passionately pursuing foundational biblical values. (leave the 99, mercy, love your neighbor, not just the person in your pew who is often like you) Those that complain often do not do much but complain.

    The pastor where I grew up often said, People who are rowing the boat often are not worried about rocking the boat. I use to think he was being trite and cute, now I think he is among the wisest guys I have ever known.

  4. YPClayConry April 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    ROOKIE STATEMENT:

    The more I try to figure out this animal called youth ministry the less i realize I know. Here’s what I’m thinking though. We have a commission to make disciples. Sometimes that happens in a crowd… sometimes not.

    This last couple years I’ve seen the numbers at a typical meeting nose dive. By the measurement of numbers we are having less of an impact than we were 2 years ago. However as I’ve listened to stories my students have told and watched them participate in what God is doing I’ve become more and more convinced that our impact has been greater this year than when we had larger numbers of students.

    I won’t try and legitimize this with comments about “the 12 vs. the crowd” because honestly I’m not sure. What I do know is that I’m committed to making disciples of a few that are sold out to Jesus and then sending them out to reach the many

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