I seem to be caring less about “stuff christian culture likes”. Now this isn’t a knock on the actual site with the same name, but just an observation of where I currently am versus where I used to be. SCCL is a site dedicated to lampooning the wacky world surrounding Christianity. I enjoy the SCCL site and Facebook page (and other sites like it) and follow many, but find myself less and less interested.
Looking around at the “very involved” church people surrounding me used to upset me. The judgement I had been raised to hold onto as a Southern Baptist Professional Christian turned on the group I used to be with, and I judged all Christians (particularly the evangelical type) with the same amount of fervor previously reserved for heathens. All in the name of love of course.
Seriously, I have no problem shooting sacred cows. It’s important. Actually, I’m pretty good at it. I probably could have turned pro in that realm had I set my mind to it. Thankfully, life moved me in a different direction.
I don’t care much anymore what so and so said about such and such. I do think it’s important to have someone pointing out the bullshit when it’s there and holding people accountable for what they say. But for me, the bullshit is deeper than SCCL and others (including our own SCP site in the past) have been willing to discuss. We like to talk ad nauseum about how evolved we are now that we think gay people should be married, or that women should be pastors, or that churches aren’t truly as relevant as they think they are.
Let’s be real here. Are we shocked anymore when Mark Driscoll makes douchebag comments? Does it still annoy us that John Piper is a just who he says he is – a Calvinist? Are we still upset that Rick Warren will say or do anything to appear relevant with whomever he is speaking to at the moment?
Do we care that there are more and more new church movements replacing the old church movements? And that the new ones are just as corrupt as the old ones? Have we forgotten the saying “new wine into old wineskins”?
There is no doubt that the “stuff christian culture likes” is really messed up. Christian culture exists because people who believe the same way and want the same things create a culture to reinforce and substantiate that world-view. They can’t help it. Read an “Introduction to Sociology” book sometime. It’s ingrained in people groups to perpetuate their own myths and to do so in a manor that reflects themselves in the best possible light.
One day I got to a point where I had to ask myself as a contributor of all things Stupid Church People: “Do I constantly need to monitor guys like Tony Jones anymore?” The answer is a resounding NO. Tony will be Tony. So will Mark, John, Rick, Pat, Tom, Dick and Harry. When they continue to say or do stupid, uncaring or illogical things, should I point it out? Maybe.
It could be just a point in my process of recovery that I no longer care.
Here’s what I think: Freeing yourself from a culture that is so full of judgment, guilt and shame can be painful. Freedom is not easily found (if it is found at all). Many within the “church recovery movement” turn to blogs and Facebook to find kindred spirits who are on the same journey. We criticize together, laugh together and defend each other. In this group we find that we are not alone. That’s a very, very good thing.
But at some point you move beyond this. You realize that you are just as full of bullshit as the ones you are criticizing. If not sites such as, “Stuff Stupid Church People Likes” could pop up and then you’d realize that you have created your own culture that’s just as inbred and irrelevant as the one you are trying to break away from.
Here’s what I am finding: Freedom from someone isn’t leaving and then turning around as you are walking away and screaming at them. It’s not telling them to change or how ignorant they are. Certainly, if you have suffered abuse (as many have) it is certainly part of the process. But if you get stuck there you aren’t really free. They still control you.
Freedom from someone is caring less and less about them and what they say or do. It’s caring less and less about what they say about you. Freedom is really, really hard and gutsy stuff.
Freedom is not easy. I’m still working on it. From time to time, I’ll continue to let you know how it’s going.