Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dealing with The Plastics in a Christian World

Disclaimer-- The blog post was originally written in 2019, before our now adult daughter left home and began proudly serving our country in the U.S. Armed Forces.  This is the first time it is being published.  

Okay, so I have to admit it.  I have watched Mean Girls.  If you haven't watched that movie, it mainly revolves around one girl "infiltrating" a click of girls, and then slowly morphing into one of them because they are like, the coolest, and everyone wants to be them.  Like all good Hollywood dramas, in the end it all works out blah blah blah.

I guess now you are wondering why I am blithering about a Hollywood movie on a Christian perspective blog-eh?

My oldest daughter brought something to my attention about a year ago, and it's been really heavy on my heart.  From the time I got saved, and shortly there after my husband surrendered to the ministry, our goal has been to put our children in the best circles possible to nurture their spiritual growth.  We homeschool for many reasons, but one of the reasons we do is to help be their main source of information so that we are able to help them choose friendships that are better for them than others.  They are less exposed to sensuality and sexuality, less pressured to "join the crowd" because they are already not a part of the semi-in crowd trying to get to the upper level of the hierarchy.

 But I digress.

 My daughter told me about a year ago that she didn't particularly care for participation in a lot of church centered activities(more of an emphasis on inter-church activities like youth rallies and church camps)  because everyone appeared plastic to her.  They had their permagrin smiles on, had just the right answers for every question, all dressed the same, thought the same, acted the same (in public)- they seemed fake.  Especially when my daughter would hear and see the rumblings of rebellion.  She knew there was more going on behind the scenes, but everyone just had to keep that perfect appearance.  It was very hard and devastating for me. 

 I wanted the hope that she would choose from these circles a spouse to share their same views, and life with.  That she would choose someone to serve God with.  And at that moment I knew it would never happen.  

It broke my heart.

There are plastics in every circle.  And unfortunately, now I see what she sees.  I am so sad, because the fundamental Christian movement has become so regimented in their own thoughts that they have forgotten some really important and valuable tools they need to win others to the Lord (which is our goal, right?).

Life is Messy
The reality is, most kids these days don't get saved at 5 and lead a holy life, expounding upon what their parents have taught them about sin, and work towards avoiding it and helping their fellow kids to avoid it.  Most kids these days come from broken homes, and have broken spirits, and live very broken lives.  Standing over them and beating them with your Bible and judging them for who and where they are in life probably isn't going to bring them into the fold.  Should we condone the sin they are in? No.  But judgement and criticism isn't going to gain you any favor either.

Hearts are Hard to the Message
The world (unsaved Christian people here) is conditioned to think exactly how my daughter felt about what she was seeing the fundamental Christian movement- plus some.  Their hearts are preconditioned to a message we have for them- and it's not going to be a one and done message most generally.  It takes time for God to do a work in them because they don't want to believe everything they have been taught about Christianity is a lie- or perversion of the truth.  Odds are, most of us have a very messy path to salvation.  Keep that in mind when you share.

Be Honest 
It's time for those of us who didn't get saved at 5, and didn't always live a life for God to just get honest. People want to see a very real side of you.  They want to know that while you are different now, you weren't always the way you are.  The world needs to see redemption in your life.  I truly believe this with all that I am.  They need to know and hear from you that you have been where they are.  Not wallow there with them- but show them how God created a change in you through that situation and season of life. 

The fields are ripe for the harvest- but if you don't have the right tools, and aren't willing to get dirty to harvest the crop, and in some instances, actually walk out into the field-how are we ever going to see revival in our churches?   I believe it's time to put our plastic lives in the past, and roll up our sleeves, and start getting real with the world around us.  

One of the primary reasons I believe we are seeing significant men in public view fall to sin, because we are (as a collective Christian body) putting a fake face on the Christian walk.  There is no real honesty- that we all have sin to conquer.  The movement is scared to admit that its not all perfect.  My heart aches for the people who see Christianity this way.  Because that's not what a lot of us are about.  People need to see real.  They need to see our honest, messy lives to not be hard toward us as Christians, and by extension, the church.  

People  need to see that the doors are open to everyone- not just the ones who looked buttoned up, and all together.  They need to see a place where they fit.  Broken.  In Need of a Savior.  So the world can then see redemption in their story, and their lives, and their ministry to others.  

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