Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Impractical Religion

I have heard churches advertise themselves on the radio these days, promising that if you come to their church you’ll hear sermons that are practical.

This is a promise I just can’t make.

There’s a great deal about Christianity that the world would consider impractical. We worship Someone who refused to defend himself, but let his life be taken, and we try to be just like Him. We preach that real strength is found in submission and sacrifice. We value meekness, gentleness, and sacrifice. We teach that it is better to speak softly and not insist on our own way.

We tell each other to love our enemies and bless those who would harm us. We believe in being honest and keeping our promises even if it is painful to do so.

We encourage each other to give up a significant portion of their wealth for the sake of God—we call it tithing.

None of this is considered practical. Others would call us naïve and tell us that one can’t really practice these values in the real world.

By the way, how is it going in the real world? .

In the real world, people are brutalized with unspeakable violence. Our economy has taken a nasty turn because people have been selfish and dishonest. Children are losing their innocence at an early age. We live in a time of uncertainty and anxiety.

If that’s where practicality has taken us, perhaps it’s time to embrace the impractical righteousness of Christianity where we try to do things that are good and even beautiful.

So if you’re looking for practicality, don’t come to my church, because you won’t find it. Instead, you’ll find people who are looking to change the world to a less practical state.

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