One of my favorite hobbies living inside the institutional church bubble was choosing to be offended by others not like me. It was like a flippin’ obligation. Yes, being offended was the “right” thing to do. How else are you to show how spiritual you are unless you flip out and have a cow on every little thing that went against your moral high ground. (Being right about everything carries with it the incredible burden of making sure you tell everyone else about how right you are.)
That person said a cuss word… how could they be walking with the Lord?
That couple does not attend church on Sundays… What are they.. heathens?
That person thinks the earth is a million years old… don’t they read scripture?
That person did not say Merry Christmas.. I need to rage war!
If I saw, heard, or read something that I did not like, and it did not fit the mold I was being taught within the walls of “church”, I was obligated to change that person. For us as a “local church” to truly accept them, he or she needed to get it right and be like us. When dealing with others who would cause the offense I often would seek out to change them (and to turn them into a “mature” Christian).
This is where the “church” excelled in my life. It taught me the best ways to argue using a bunch of Christianese words to convince the other person of their iniquities.
Well, let me sum up what I have learned since I left the institutional church… choosing to be offended was a bunch of bullshit. I was no where even close to being a “mature” Christian. What I found out was that I was just being an asshole in the name of Jesus, and for that I am truly sorry.
I want to come out right now and apologize to anyone I came across trying to slap them across the face with my own personal “I am right you are wrong” doctrine.
I am much more “mature” in my faith now (and will always be learning), and I am comfortable saying exactly what I am thinking and exactly how I feel. To me I am being myself and not some evangelical Christian robot. I might say the word shit now and then on this blog, but if you understand what I am trying to say here in this post, you should not be offended.
Well, I am still an asshole, just a different more mature type of asshole. To explain, here is a quote from a comment Jon posted that I received a couple of months ago.
“We always talk about the body being made of many different members, and each one is important. We think of roles for the head, hands, feet… But maybe there is value in some members stepping up and being the A** hole. This may be your spiritual gift… I suspect you won’t be offended. Think about it. Every body needs a body part that helps get all the crap out. ”
No Jon, I am not offended.