Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Christian "F" word....And the family of God

I saw reference made to this on John Acuff on his site, Stuff Christians Like. I mentioned it in a blog post I did a few days ago, but decided to blog about it a bit.

So what is the Christain "F" word? It is "fine." It even has 4 letters. We all use it. Someone asks us how we are doing, and we say "fine." Even if we are not. There are a couple of reasons for doing so: We know the person just asked us a greeting, we know that they don't really want to know how we are REALLY doing, or we feel that they don't care.

What would happen if we were honest? I'm afraid in most cases, the person would run the other way. "Uh, I see Susie Smith and I really need to talk to her. Keep encouraged!"

Can you imagine if we said any of the following: "Not too good. I am really discouraged and feel like giving up, I am having an affair, I just lost my job, I am struggling with homosexuality and don't know where to turn, I am addicted to porn, my husband has been hitting me." Be honest, we don't want to hear that. We don't want to deal with it.

And it may not always be because we don't care. We are too busy. We have our famlies, our jobs, our little circle of friends, emails, facebook. And the list goes on. We don't have time for people. We don't have time for our "brothers and sisters" in the church. If we were honest, most of the people in our church are mere aquaintances, not a brother or sister. If someone does dare admit a problem, we pat them on the back, tell them to keep encouraged and/or we will be praying for them, and off we dash to something or someone more important.

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound have a song I really like, "We Need Each Other." Here are a few lines that stand out to me:
"Cuz if one of us is hurting none of us have peace

And if one of us is bound then none of us are free"

"Reach out and take my hand, I need your strength to stand

We're not alone in this world, we need each other
I am a part of you, you are a part of me
No longer strangers we're sisters and brothers
We need each other"

And then there is the timeless Gaither song:

"You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here,

It's because we're a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God"

But is the song really true? If one has a heartache, do we really share the tears?

Back in the early days of the church, as I understand, it was pretty much "What's mine, is yours." Christians lived close to each other and took care of each other. How far we have come.

What if we really cared about our Christian brothers and sisters? As much as we are about our biological brothers and sisters? What if we asked someone how they were doing, and really wanted to know, no mattter how bad the reply?

I believe the Church has strayed far from what God intended it to be. Not just in this area, but in other areas.

So how are you doing? Really doing?


Andi said...

The reality Mark, is that 1. it's hard to be transparent, and 2. NO ONE REALLY WANTS TO KNOW the deep dark secrets that we as the body of Christ is / are struggling with. I am in a unique group of singles where we can be truly transparent, and hold each other accountable. I've only been in two groups in my entire life like this. Once as a young married and now. I believe it comes down to the heart of the people who are leading it.

Rel said...

Good post, Mark - you are not alone in your thoughts. We struggle with the same issues in our church and recently have been talking a lot about the lack of real community in our own church.

I have come to the realisation that if I feel so strongly about it, I need to make choices to make it happen and not wait for someone else to do it for me. Working on what that looks like still, but it's a start.

Thanks for sharing - and as for how I am? Better for reading your post :)