Call it comfort or call it casual Christianity. But whatever you call it, it's killing us. Literally, destroying us.
The problem is we continually expect life to be easy, to be comfortable. This desire is misplaced. We've decided that comfort means structure and rules within the church -- that it means certain subjects weren't approachable, and that it means we can only worship beside and with those who look exactly like us.
That is not comfort. That is death.
You and I weren't called to comfort; we were called to be the hands and feet of Christ. That means doing work and getting dirty.
Comfort a #firstworldproblem
Gay Marriage. Abortion. Women in leadership. Politics. Racism. Poverty. Classism. Kaepernick. Immigration.
Is your skin crawling yet? Did your anxiety just rise? Good. We're getting outside of your comfort zone, and that's where you should be. If not we could go on. Our culture is full of hot topics. As a church, we were raised to stay silent.
If we don’t talk about it, won’t it just go away?
Can't we make up some rule that excludes those from our communities who think and look different than us? Isn't that what Jesus would want us to do? Is it church... is it really?
Instead, we'd rather focus on our #FirstWorldProblems. You know the ones: is there enough parking, is the lighting right, is the music too loud, if we keep growing will there be space for me, or is the pastor plain boring. It's time to move away from the rule "no politics or religion around the dinner table" and start addressing real needs. People are hurting, and we've sat on our hands for far too long.
It’s time for the American Church to start adulting.
And that starts with us.
A reality check
If our desire for comfort isn't directed to walking alongside those who are hurting and offering them comfort, then we are missing the point.
In John 16:33 (NIV) Jesus made it clear that "In this world, you will have trouble." Our world is at war, and the church is standing idly by sipping tea watching it all go down.
Let’s start by getting comfortable discussing the issues as they arise. Let’s talk about violence in America. Let’s address the sorrow and lament with the black community when racism and hate takes a life. And then let’s get to work to bring comfort to those who are suffering.
When we stay in our comfort zone, we turn a blind eye to the hurting. We become unfeeling and calloused, saying its not my problem. And church, we will die.