I've been mulling about this idea for a little while now, and thought I'd through it out there for some friendly conversation. As Christians, a central tenant of our religious and spiritual understanding is that we as human beings are broken and fragmented people.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking, "here we go, another chucklehead whose just going to bash the human race again and talk about how 'unworthy' we are, blah, blah, blah."
Well that's not exactly where I'm going, but I think that if you truly look around long and hard enough, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we've been beating one another over the head with clubs (and the more advanced we've become, the more sophisticated the club) for eons in hopes of fulfilling our on personal endeavors, however twisted they might be.
You see, when as followers of Jesus, we fail to embrace the notion that we are flawed individuals that create flawed communities, that create flawed governments, that create flawed world-views, that even, and here's the kicker, create flawed churches, why then do we think that we really need Jesus anyway?
I mean, if we're really OK, then, well, we really don't need a savior do we?
I'm not suggesting that we adopt a pessimistic stance and cluck our tongues at "how bad the world is," but what I am suggesting is that understanding that we are bent and broken social creatures is part of the mystery that makes us, well, human, beautiful, and worth redeeming.
News flash: you don't always get it right. I don't always get it right. Sometimes you live for your own desires in a way that says, "forget you world." Sometimes I live for my own desires in a way that says, "forget you world."
When we fail to remember and embrace our brokenness, then by definition we fail to remember and embrace the need for personal transformation. We then become, sanctimonious, pharisaical, legalistic, and judgmental. Everyone else has a problem, except us of course.
From there we move to easily categorizing people into neat little boxes: conservative/liberal, gay/straight, rich/poor, male/female, in/out, married/divorced, addict/sober, sinner/saint.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard as a pastor something like the following, "well, that's just the way (insert name here) is. They've always been like that, and they're probably not going to change."
If we, as people who bear the name "Christian" fail to carry the standard that declares that not only is real change necessary, but perhaps more importantly, real change is possible, then we might as well throw in the towel.
I'm broken. I'm a forty-year-old, overweight, child of God, husband, father, friend, and pastor, who cares waaaay too much what people think of him, who gets it wrong probably more than he gets it right, but believes and hopes, beyond all belief and hope that God can change even me.
God can and still does change lives!
So how 'bout you? Are you perhaps willing to admit and embrace your brokenness and allow God to move you towards wholeness? Because until you do, you really have no business pretending you need a savior.