This is my first post-Easter post. If that is supposed to mean something, I’m not sure what it is.
On Good Friday, while I was minding my own business in a local coffee shop, working on the sermon for Sunday, someone told me about some kind of brewhaha about a mural at a local high school. Apparently some wedding rings were painted over and that action was seen by many as an attack on Christianity. This individual then told me that Christianity is under attack in our fine country, assuming that I already knew this vital bit of information. I was as non-committal in my response as I usually try to be.
On the way out I asked the individual where he or she would be going for Easter worship. This person told me, “Oh, I don’t go to church. I think it is more important to believe than it is to follow rules.”
First, I do not think there is a well-organized war against Christianity in our country. We do see examples of people over-reacting and examples of people being insensitive, but there is not an orchestrated push to eradicate Christianity from every mind and heart of Jesus lovin’ folks in our nation. What we do see is an exaggerated interpretation of events forced to fit a certain narrative that suggests that Christianity is under attack.
Second, I would argue that Christianity is at risk in our country (and in the world). It is not from some nefarious group plotting and planning to take churches down one by one, but is due to those who claim to be Christians. When someone gets up in arms about the “war against Christianity,” but does not even attend church on a regular basis, then something is wrong. I’m not suggesting that church attendance makes one a good Christian, but it does give some credence to one’s desire and sincerity to be a Christian. We need a community to pray with us, to hold us accountable, and to walk with us in our faith.
I did not ask this individual which version of the Gospel he or she would be turning to for the resurrection story; I did not want to assume that there would be regular Bible reading by this individual. I did not ask this individual about his or her prayer life, again I did not think it would bear much fruit.
Christianity is plagued by a lot of half-a**ed Christians and that is what is bringing churches down. I know I will catch some flack for this – some may think I am suggesting that there is a certain level of expectation one should have of oneself to be a “good” Christian. What I am suggesting is that people should have the desire and to act on that desire to be a “good” Christian. We are all in different places. We all live out our faith in different ways. The desire pushes us to avoid complacency with our faith, and to think that it is ok to sit on our duff, and say that we are good Christians.
Lay off the war on Christianity stuff, especially all you who don’t even practice Christianity (note, “practice” is an active word). Don’t get pious and judge people’s actions, but rather encourage their desire. For in our desire there is much fruit for our faith.
Now I’m going to declare war on those who declare that there is a war on Christianity. Ha!