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Thursday, February 3, 2011

PS. I Hate You...

Dear Church, Praise Band Guy,
I just wanted to drop you a quick line and set the record straight on a few things you seem to be confused about.
You see, lately I’ve heard you lamenting how fewer and fewer people are coming to church and how the church herself is really failing to reach these folks.  I’ve heard you talk about how you need to find ways to reach people who wouldn’t be reached in traditional ways, how you need to offer them a form of worship that speaks their language and meets them where they are.  You use words like impact and authentic.  You talk about all this stuff very sincerely and I’m sure you mean well.  But the reason I don’t go to church isn’t that the traditions of the past don’t speak to me.  It’s not that I find organs and old hymns to be boring.  And it’s not that I don’t have the attention span to listen to a theologically deep sermon. When you say things like that, you’re really just embarrassing yourself by doing two things.  Those two things are:
  1. Projecting onto me the things you actually don’t like about going to church
  2. Revealing that you’ve never actually talked to me about why I don’t go to church.
So since you seem to be quite ignorant of why I’d rather sleep or jog on Sunday morning, let me just state things very clearly for you:
The reason I don’t go to church is because I hate the Gospel.  I hate Jesus.  I hate the notion that I was a sinner who needed to be redeemed by God taking on human flesh and shedding His blood on a cross.  I hate the notion that Jesus gets every ounce of credit for my salvation.  I hate the idea that God doesn’t dwell in my heart, that God isn’t who I make Him out to be in the religion of my own creation.  And I hate the teaching that the only way for me to know the true God is by hearing and reading the Bible.
So that’s why I don’t come to church.  I don’t come to church because I find the Christian faith to be stupid, irrational, barbaric, sexist, homophobic, outdated, mean spirited, ugly, offensive and any other number of things that are bad.  I don’t come to church because I hate the One who founded her.
So please stop embarrassing yourself.  Stop acting like an insecure college girl who dates guys who treat her badly because she thinks she can reach the good men inside them that no other girl could reach before.  Stop thinking that you can say something to me that I haven’t heard before.  Stop thinking that you can love me better than anyone else ever has.  You’re supposed to believe in original sin.  Act like it.  Remember that my default position is to hate Jesus.  And as long I hate Him, I won’t feel any different about you.
And stop trying to relate to me.  Stop thinking that your life-application-sermon-skills can do for me what Law and Gospel preaching hasn’t ever done.  Stop thinking that the one thing preventing me from being converted is not having a sandal wearing pastor to call by his first name.  Stop thinking that I glumly sip my coffee on Sunday morning, saying to myself, “golly gee, I really want to hear the Word of God today, but I just can’t do it in a place that doesn’t have guitars and a light show.”  Remember that, as long as I hate the gift, it doesn’t matter how flashy you think your new wrapping job is.  I’m still not going to open it.
So I hate to be this frank.  But I thought you needed to hear it straight.  I hate the Gospel.  I hate Jesus.  And as long as that’s the case, I will always hate you.
Sincerely,
The World



This was written by Lutheran Pastor Feine http://thehighmidlife.blogspot.com (his blog).

 Lutheranism is a totally different planet to me being the Credo-Baptist kinda guy that I am (among other things). However I can most certainly call Lutherans my brothers and sisters in Christ as I can people from any other denomination if they are orthodox. I thought that this satirical letter that this guy wrote was very insightful, and I think that he hit the nail right on the head.

Note: I revised the letter a bit so that us non-Lutherans could understand it...you can find the original version on his blog site.     

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