Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Joke

So, the question is, "How do I relate to my faith?" Or maybe, "How do I want to relate to my faith?"

The right (read: Christian) answer is, "You don't." Your faith, ideally, is not something you relate to. It's just something you are. You don't relate to your height, or the color of your eyes, or the myriad other factual observances that fall under the heading Me.

Then again, people write books about their faith. They sing about their faith. They write blogs about it. You don't blog about having big hands, or being a white person. Unless you're clever enough to be really, really ironic and turn it into a book deal.

So I do relate to it.

I used to relate to it by saying statements that equated to, "I am this type of Christian, and not that type of Christian." But in doing so, I was essentially dividing Christians into the good kinds, and the not as good kinds. I was being a hipster with my Christianity.

Really, I am them, and they are me. In Christianity, when push comes to shove, the only difference between me and the guy sitting next to me is whether he believes, or doesn't believe. Everything after that is semantics and preference.

I used to relate to my faith with humor, and still do to a lesser extent. I really still want to write about that. But I'm not sure I know how, anymore.

Not because that other type of Christian doesn't deserve it. They do. We all do. But they're not in on the joke. And something about that bothers me.

Also...being here, in the place I occupy in this life at this moment, I don't feel the urgency of the slacks-wearing Sunday crowd in the way I once did. Being in this young church with these creative people, I feel like maybe the Christianity of Billy Graham is getting ready to pass the torch, though probably muttering, "Back in my day..." while it does so.

The preponderance of a young, savvy, over-educated youth in the places of worship and halls of Christian learning has started to take its toll. The church is changing. And doing what I did, it feels like soon, maybe nobody will get the joke. There won't be a frame of reference.

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