Bus Bodies

Once upon a time, the megachurch preacher proclaimed that, by God’s grace, the pile of bodies behind the bus (that was the church) would become a mountain by the time they were done. Those in the way of the mission would become a casualty. Those out of line were nothing more than speedbumps.

Individuals that appear to be walking away from this American Evangelical Christian Culture are rarely rejecting their faith. They’re not walking away from Jesus. They’re running from a counterfeit faith that looks nothing like the Jesus. They’re not rejecting the Bible, but rather terrible interpretations that lead to exclusion and exploitation. They see an American church filled with delusion, idols, and false teachers that resemble the Pharisees more than the Samaritan.

When we meet the walking wounded, if we have not already become one ourselves, our first impulse is to defend the church. We forget that people are the church. We forget our priorities. Like Peter, we would kill for Christ but not die for him. We attack before we allow our ego to be harmed. We also forget that Christ is the true word of God. The Bible, when read in the right Spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to him (C.S. Lewis). Forgetting this, us forgetful people, continue to use the Bible as a weapon. We wound the wounded.

“I would never hurt someone that way.”

Which road is it that’s paved with good intentions?

“One does not have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.” (Charles Blow)

Do we love our neighbor or our theology? Do we long to sit at a table with the powerful or prepare one in the wilderness for the outcast? Do we seek to empower the poor and needy or do we defend our own rights first? Are there those who are not welcome at our tables at all? Is it more important that our beliefs are right or that our love for others continues to grow? Do we refuse to have conversations that challenge our beliefs, even when it puts relationships at risk? Have we grown callous to the struggling, the marginalized, the incarcerated? Do we make assumptions about others and their circumstances that we have never experienced? Do we choose to help heal brokenness or just correct it? If someone ignores or argues with our correction, do we wash our hands like Pilate?

Is our help actually hurting?

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