Keep The Wild And It Will Keep You
Keep the wild, and let it keep you. - Tiffany Aurora
I think that the greatest challenge to Christianity today isn't a theological identity crisis or a cultural divide. I also don't believe that Christianity's greatest challenge is the ever-increasing blurring of lines between faith and politics.
Those are serious issues, to be fair. But I think the greatest challenge to Christianity is at the heart of all of those issues and more. And here it is:
(Cultural) Christianity in America is boring.
Most Christians are bored in their faith. They are uninspired by the worship in their church. They are unmotivated to practice their faith in dynamic ways, and they view their spiritual life as unremarkable.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of churches who ramp up the show on the weekend, complete with smoke, huge screens, lights, and cameras. And participants will have an hour and change to feel something.
But it wears off.
Let's be honest... you can get the same kind of feeling by going to a concert to see your favorite band or performer. And at least they will serve beer there, and maybe even a basket of chili-cheese fries.
I feel like we've lost the wildness of the Christian faith in our pursuit of a consumer-based form of Christianity. We don't want to be challenged. We don't want to be pushed out of our comfort zones.
We want what we want, and mostly what we want doesn't challenge us to adventure or uncertainty, both of which are hallmarks of the Way of Jesus.
[At this point I need to say that there are plenty of churches and communities of faith that are getting this right, and I'd like to think my church is one of them.]
Theologian (Chung) Hyun Kyung speaks into the problem that American Christianity seems to be struggling with at the moment:
If those of us who claim to follow Jesus are going to practice a more enlivened faith... If we want to be snapped out of our boredom, and the pursuit of our own desires...We are uncomfortable with differences, yet it is the unknown that challenges us to come out from our comfortable world of complacency.
Then we need to be willing to embrace our unknowing and uncover diversity within our own beliefs. We need to live with more openness in our faith and be willing to risk our comfort in the ways we live out our faith in the world.
May you discover new ways to be challenged, new ways to embrace differences and explore the unknown in your life of faith. May you begin to view the Way of Jesus as an adventure to be lived and enjoyed.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.