I'm just a guy trying to figure out who it is that God made me to be. I was taught not to live for the approval of mankind, but to live as a servant of Christ! (Gal. 1:10) Yet the Church wants people to conform to their image of what a cookie-cutter Christian looks like, rather than an authentic version of a person trying his or her best to follow Christ. The Church has it all packed nice and neat in a package with a bow, narrowed down to 4 spiritual laws, or a tract that explains "Everything".
But that's not my reality. It wasn't Christ's reality, nor was it the early Church leader's reality. It was a struggle. Every Day! This Journey is not easy, why do we pretend it is? Why do we force ministers to be "perfect"? We say they are supposed to be setting an example for their flock, but what kind of an example is one built on a lie? No one is perfect and thus that expectation should never exist. Instead, a minister should be an authentic example of a person struggling every day to do his or her best to follow Christ, who wasn't always clear about what he meant!
But that would mean unbinding Christ, to free God from the bondage we've all placed him in. To remember that we are made in his image, and stop making him in ours! Ah, but I seem to be prophetic in my approach... warning the Church that if it continues down this path it will fail. Doom will come, not from some some metaphorical "wrath" that we think of, but because the Church will no longer be relevant in the lives of people seeking the REAL Christian experience, not this modernized neat version we're selling. It will come when we realize that we aren't reaching whole generations. Churches are losing, not just youth and college students, but people even up into their 40's because the message the Church has been forcing on them no longer meshes with their understanding of their faith. This is a huge problem for the mainstream Church.
I have lots of ideas of ways to change, but the first and hardest thing to do, it to let go! Release God to be God. Stop trying to have all the "answers", and stop alienating people who are searching. Stop running the prophets out of the synagogue, and listen to their thoughts, ideas and concerns. And most of all, adopt an authentic faith! Authenticity should be a requirement from all people for community membership... but that will only happen when the Church makes itself a safe place for people to lay down their masks! No Judgement, no deceit, no more indoctrination. Just a safe place to come and be one's self, and do their best to try and follow the mystery that is God!
My words come from a heartfelt humility in knowing that I don't have it all figured out yet either, but I'm willing to journey, and I refuse to be someone I'm not. The ONLY person I'm trying to be, is the person who's image looks a little more like the image I was created in each day!