This morning Lexie and I drove to the corner store, David and David’s and I saw a girl who goes to school with Lex, but is a year older. I said, “She really is pretty.”
“Yeah, she is,” my daughter agreed, “but she doesn’t like me.”
Lex just shrugged, “She goes to ________ Church, you know how it is.”
Lexie explained this situration in such a “low key, no-big deal” way. But I’ve heard this kind of comment about that church over and over and over in our small Arkansas community. Kids and adults talk about two churches in our area on a regular basis.
If you go to one of these churches you have it easy, and you get to go to heaven. If you attend a different church, these church goers make you feel as though you’re chances of passing through the pearly gates are minimal. And those congregations are seen as openly hostile and rude. That’s just crazy. No church wants that kind of pr.
This weekend an adult friend of mine compared the pastor of the ______Church to John Lithgow in Foot Loose. “There will be no dancing in my town!” and “You people from the outside, who are dancing, are going to hell.” But he doesn’t even realize half the kids in his own congration are swinging and swaying every chance they get.
Bottom line, some churches are really snarky. They aren’t nice to people who don’t go their. And that seems absurd because Christians are supposed to be nice and Christ-like, right? If I was a pastor or minister (trust me I have too many suitcases of sin to lead anyone) these are not the adjectives I would want associated with my church.
The truth is I know some very nice people who go to these churches. They are really lovely. But the rude ones are also the noisey ones, and they are the ones everybody remembers. Maybe 80 percent of the people in church are kind and loving but the 20 percent ruin the churches reputation.
If I led a church I’d want folks to think of my people as the smiling, l0ving, giving, supportive congregation. Then new people would want to join my church and they could learn all about God’s love.
Here’s the truth. You need to be nice to the sinner to get him through the church doors. This includes kids in high school, hobos and soccer moms.
Why would anyone join a church full of snarky, rude, judgemental people? If they make me feel bad I don’t want to hang with them. .