It’s my blog’s second birthday, and at the end of this post there is something for you to download and read. But first, I have about 700 words to say:
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my very short and highly ineffective life, it’s that the lives we lead, or I guess really the world that we live in, is SO stupid. It’s absurd.
Think about it. Our primary method of communication are 140-character messages typed on out on tiny personal computers that we pay $50 a month just to use. This is normal, everyday life for us, and we LOVE it.
For the past two years of writing, I’ve always tried to embrace the absurdity of life on this blog. Sometimes it is the absurdity of building huge ships without even considering that it could sink. Other times it’s the absurdity of how every Saturday in the Fall, thousands of people put so much emotion and hope into the performance of 20-year-olds in a football game. Wherever you look, absurdity is around us.
This is normal for us these days. Things shouldn’t really surprise us anymore, because this is what we’ve become.
In order to embrace absurdity, you have to examine life itself. You have to be willing to take a good long look at what we think is normal and see all the many wonderful ways that it isn’t.
I think the biggest absurdity today is that we’ve convinced ourselves that we actually want to get along with those around us. Somehow, We truly believe, deep down inside of ourselves, that we actually care about world peace or equality or something along those lines. Yet all the while we scream political or social opinions at each other and complain about trivial things somebody else said or scream at a fan of a rival team simply because they cheer or another team or we watch as the divorce rate raises to 50%….you get the point. We act like we care about getting along, but we don’t want to make the effort to get along.
This is huge in the Church as well. We hate Mark Driscoll because we’re pretty sure Mark Driscoll hates us. We hate Rob Bell because we think Rob Bell doesn’t hate anyone. Or have any emotion. He might be a robot.
We hate each other, because we are all different and we don’t know how to get along. We don’t see how being different is WHY we should get along.
About a year ago, I decided to explore my beliefs as a Reformed Presbyterian and write about them. I wrote a blog post, then realized there was too much there for a blog post. I tried to turn it into a series of posts, but then realized they went together too well to be separated. So I wrote a 20 page essay about the whole thing and called it Being Boring.
It started as an examination of my beliefs and the absurdity therein. It became a celebration of diversity in our faith. If you read it (it’s long so you don’t have to and if you’d rather I can send you to my much smarter pastor talking about the subject), I hope you too can see what I mean when I say that it’s stupid how we reserve grace for anyone other THAN our fellow Christians. Shouldn’t we bring a little understanding to the fellow members of Christ’s body?
I’m not perfect. I’m not smart, that’s for sure. But I understand one thing, and it’s this: when we have the common ground of our identity being wrapped up in Christ, it’s dumb that we would sit around and condemn each other constantly and consistently. We need to grow up and get a healthy view of ourselves and our sin and our own messes. Only then can we have a healthy view of others, and a healthy view of how beautiful and necessary Christian Community is. It’s a lesson that I have to relearn every single day.
Whether you’re an “exciting” Christian with drum sets and laser light shows, or a “boring” one with organs and pianos and dusty old hymnals, we all have to remember this: The church is not a broken institution in need of fixing. It’s an institution full of broken people in need of healing and in need of grace.
Thank you for reading my blog for the past two years. I hope we’ll still be friends.