Why I like raw
I closed comments on the post below. Within a short time, I already had two people condemn Scott and me, saying we take sin lightly, etc. I didn’t have the stomach for the thread that was taking shape. For the record, I don’t find cocaine use funny or justifiable. But I found the paragraph as a whole very funny. Flaming marshmallows, broken collarbones (not really funny by itself)…those beat my embarrassing moments by far. Scott’s final line, “You know, your basic church life stuff,” was the line that really got me. It got me to asking myself why I didn’t mind what Scott said, when others clearly did. I’m sure that part of the reason is that I like authenticity so much. If someone like Scott made these types of mistakes in the past, I really value that God can use someone broken like him, and that he doesn’t have to pretend. I don’t think that’s making light of sin. Quite the contrary. It’s that God can use us even when we commit sin after sin, in spite of us. The Bible is full of stories like Scott’s. The hero of the story is never us. It’s always God. Another is that we make a big deal of certain sins (cocaine use? wow, that’s bad) while ignoring other sins. I’m not sure where we got our hierarchy of sins, but I’m sure that hypocrisy and self-righteousness is every bit as evil and dangerous as any amount of cocaine use. I don’t know why we think that God can use us but he can’t use someone like Scott. Finally, it bothers me that we are so quick to judge others. A professor in seminary once asked a friend of mine, “Who made you policeman of the universe?” I don’t understand our need to set everyone else right, especially when the log is so blatantly in our eye. We may not always judge those outside the church (as I insinuated below) but we sure are quick to judge other believers for sins they’ve committed in their past. As someone said to me last week, “The mark of a saint is the struggle.” Not perfection, but a struggle. Even when you’re talking about pastors and leaders (for whom the requirements are high), you’re still looking at strugglers who are, I hope, growing into maturity but still in process. At Velocity, Ed took a session with a guy who was kicked out of youth group for swearing too much and for beating up too many other kids. He was serious about following Christ, but he just couldn’t seem to get it together in these two areas. One day the youth leader called him into his office and kicked him out of the program. “You’re just not serious about following Jesus.” They wrote him off. Within a two years, the youth leader was gone, and the kid who was kicked out was the new youth pastor. Process? Yes, we’re all in process. I mess up daily. Sometimes my mess-ups (sins) end up being very embarrassing moments in my life. But I love guys like Scott, and I love that the hero of the story is never really us. It’s always God.