By: Jana Greene
Remember the old Sly and the Family Stone song “Everyday People?” (In case you don’t, here is a link to listen: Everyday People )
I think the modern Christian Church needs to heed the message. We’ve become so splintered by theologies, ideologies, and ego-ologies. My heart is heavy for the division, and frankly, all it manages to do is prop up the devil, who – in case you haven’t noticed – is having his heydey on this planet already.
Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people.
There is a blue one
Who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one
Trying to be a skinny one
For different folks.
For the longest time, I operated from a place of loving God out of fear, terrified of displeasing him. And that meant shunning you if you participated in certain behaviors, so that I could not be accused of “condoning” it.
We don’t have the time to bicker among ourselves, because Rome is burning right now.
Billy Graham put it succinctly:
“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”
(And yes, I am throwing in a little Billy Graham into a piece about Sly and the Family Stone. God digs it when his kids mix it up.)
Sometimes I’m right, but I can be wrong. That STINGS, doesn’t it?
Peter is my favorite disciple, but he was far from the most perfect. His propensity for flubbing things is what endears him to my heart, he was ‘wrong’ a lot. (Google ‘Peter’s sins’ if you are interested) Yet Jesus told him –
“…And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.” – Matthew 16:18
Peter was Everyday People. Just like me and you.
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same, whatever we do
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people.
There is a gay one, who won’t accept the straight one, that won’t accept the trans one for living with the (fill-in-the-blank with your favorite deadly sin of choice.) one. And that’s WITHIN the Church. We are sending the world the message that we love everybody all the same but stay over there so you don’t rub off on me.
Jesus wants us to go to the world and rub off on it like crazy. That was his whole modus operandi.He came to welcome everyone into the family of God. We don’t get to exclude certain groups of people because we find their choices distasteful, or even because the Bible says its wrong.
Are we to pretend then that all behaviors are acceptable to God and just ‘get over’ ourselves? The world is well aware that they are considered sinners by the Church.
What they maybe haven’t heard is the message of LOVE that is supposed to be our cornerstone.
When I’m perfect, I will pick up rocks and throw them at you. But honestly, I’m pretty sure that’s not happening.
It’s not that sin is unimportant to God.
It’s that sin became dwarfed and overcome by the power of the Cross, and LOVE is a bigger deal.
Our message of Love rests on the Cornerstone that cannot be moved by cultural trends. It’s so much bigger than that. What would the world look like if we didn’t make sin the biggest consideration in loving? We like to label the stones we throw at other people, don’t we? We feel so JUSTIFIED, righteously angered.
In essence, I guess I am saying yes – let’s get over ourselves.
Let’s loose those stones around our necks that we carry to make ourselves feel morally superior to “those” people Playing Superior is exhausting, believe me, I know. Jesus said this, and the weary world needs to hear it:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:30 (MSG)
And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha.
We got to live together.
I am everyday people.
Please Church, can we just get on with the business of loving one another? I believe if we do, the gates of hell itself will not prevail against us.
God bless us, every one.