I know it's language.
How to dress. What to say. What to do.
I know the game really, really well.
And maybe for that reason I've come to the place in the last 10 years where I don't much like church people (which is a tricky situation when you work as a pastor).
By church people, I mean the Ned Flanders of the world. As in the kind of people who apparently send their kids to summer Christian camp so they can learn to be more judgmental.
Grouchy, out-of-touch, conservative-on-all-the-wrong things, party-line-toting church people. Or at least that's been my perception.
But somehow, God loves them. Alot. And I haven't quite been able to put into words what I've been feeling about my animosity. There is a stream of head-nod-inducing talk in church leadership conferences that talks about having righteous indignation against the religious "pharisees" of our day. Now maybe that's right and as a leader I need to just "bring it" against those folks. But I still think Jesus loves them--so what does that say to my head nodding during said conferences?
Matt Chandler, who pastors The Village Church in Flower Mound , TX (right next to my high school hometown), wrote a post that unravels all that for me. He's my kind of guy (even though we are on different sides of the theological playing field) and is an excellent communicator.
I read his post and was humbled. Maybe I need to take Ned to lunch.