In the past I've not allowed guest bloggers, with the exception of the hot, erudite hairdresser wife. Today I make an exception. A minister friend sent me his post-Easter rant, which I publish here for your benefit, dear readers. By the way, he's not really a liberal, although he considers himself one. I think my post-Easter rant is due tomorrow...
Reading Jesus for twenty years can get to a guy.
It being Easter Sunday and all, everybody showed up to church (Sunday). Most of our families are two out of four Sunday attenders, so having everyone there at the same time is a bit surreal. I started getting reflective right smack dab in the middle of the big Easter Sunday service. Not a good thing to do since it often sends me into a strange theological shame spiral about them and me and Jesus.
In my job I often feel like a used car salesman who wants to sell hybrids, but it ain't what people are buying, and the lot down the street is selling Hummer's real cheap (this is barely a metaphor). The "fun bait-and-switch community building events" that I plan these days don't compete with the big church in town and the straight-ahead gospel events I plan (shelter meals, third world fund-raisers, etc.) haven't sparked much interest either. I want to send a letter to my church families and say something akin to:
"Thought it would be important to tell you that by choosing to not participate in the kingdom of God on earth you are placing yourselves in danger of suffering the fires of hell. Cordially, your minister."
But I'm not quite sure I buy into the idea of hell anyway (another discussion entirely, I know). So there's that. The real problem being that I am a socially minded neo-orthodox liberal working in a 100 year old county seat SBC church. Emergent-smergent. It would leave our folks scratching their heads. What's a boy to do?
Greeting the kids in Sunday School yesterday, a handful of our high-risk special needs type kids were playing pool, hanging out. A more popular kid walks in, grabs a donut, and says, "No one's here! Where is everybody?" I wanted to snatch him up by his ear and say, "Get the f*** out! This place isn't for you, you little sh**!"
But I didn't do that. Hey, I'm a professional.
So I was having what I call a "Grizzly Adams Moment" last night sitting in my living room, drinking a beer in the dark. I wanted to leave the middle-class American church behind and start taking my family someplace else. Salvation Army comes to mind, but their fundangelical conservatism would send me over. The UCC church seems closer to how I'm feeling theses days, but there isn't one in small-town America. I like Jesus, it just seems like we mostly miss him. Mostly. There are moments, but they are few and far between. Is that the best we can hope for? Few and far between. Is that enough? Seems like everything is turned upside down. I'm not sure what to do.