Why do we see people within the church who are just as unhappy as those who don’t attend church? Why do people jump from church to church searching for that perfect religious experience that will solve all their problems? Why do teenagers leave the faith they grew up with when they go off to college?
I think that part of the reason is that we have sugar coated the human experience by running from the true nature of ourselves. None of us want to admit we are powerless and sinful at our core. We want to believe that we are really good people and do all we can to hide the sick part of our souls. Even at church we wear the best clothes to show that we have it together. Christianity has become the following message:
1. Tell God you are sorry for the bad things you’ve done
2. Commit to trying harder to do the right things
3. Work hard at being a Christian (go to church, read your Bible, pray, tithe)
4. God will reward your hard work with a good marriage, good kids and a comfortable life
We have sold people a “Comfortable Christianity.” Problem is that it is not the Christianity of the Bible. We are not truly addressing the human condition. I love this clip from the Matrix. In the clip Neo knows in his gut that there is something wrong with the world and desperately wants Morpheus to explain it to him.
Thousands of alcoholics meet daily and start their process of becoming sober with this statement, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable” (Step One in Alcoholics Anonymous). This should be step one in following Christ. We have to admit that we are powerless to address the human condition. We can no longer manage ourselves, our marriages, our relationships, our future and our kids. We desperately need God.
Here are the messages of Uncomfortable Christianity which I think are closer to Scripture than Comfortable “Christianity:”
1. Admit we are powerless to address the human condition
2. Decide to turn over our will and lives over to God
3. Join the unfolding story of God bringing about his kingdom on this earth
4. Joining God is tough and uncomfortable, yet we were created for this story