Monday, May 21, 2012

Church Language - Being Right

I spent part of Saturday afternoon at a friend's house along with a bunch of strangers. My friend is starting a church and his guests were people who were interested in that church. When he was talking about the core ideals of this church, one of the things he said was, roughly, "While solid teaching is important, I really want this church to be a community."

This concept resonated with me. One of the main things that keeps me from making return visits to the local evangelical churches is their obsession with being right.

By "right", I don't mean "informed" or "educated" or "orthodox." By "right," I mean "not wrong like those other churches."

(can of worms: I will eventually write specifically about "othering")

I've been to many churches that focused on being right to the exclusion of teaching people about compassion and humility -- the stuff that actually makes the world a better place. In some cases, "right" doesn't even involve facts or truth. At one church, the pastor spent an entire sermon spouting off unsourced "facts" about the sexual habits of gay people in an effort to prove that they are an affront to God and the primary source of decay in society. Nevermind that the garbage he was spewing was utterly divorced from reality, it proved that those gays are evil and those churches that affirmed them were brainwashed by Obama. Or something.

So, yeah, the idea of a church caring more about community than being right? I think that sounds amazing.

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