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Monday, August 22, 2011

Ugly Christians

Last post I ended with a declaration that us younger Christians don't want leaders who think they know everything.  Today I wanted to unpack that assertion a little and hopefully clarify what that means.

  1. we are so ugly and screwed up ourselves that if you present personal perfection many of us will walk away.  Life has beaten most of us up. The statistics tell us that most people of my age group have tried and are consistently using drugs, alcohol, or porn.  These three things are ruining us.  We have so many monsters in our closet that the preacher with the happy family, white teeth, and nice clothes is totally foreign.  We often don't relate to you, and that means we don't listen to you either.  
  2. There is a vast dichotomy between your ideal self and your real self, embrace it.  If you hide who you actually are it will destroy you in the end.  Jimmy Swaggart, Bernie Madoff, and John Edwards are perfect examples of this.  If you confess to your actual ugliness you save yourself from your eventual downfall.  People can relate to ugly, people follow ugly.  Your ugliness will eventually rear its head, why not put it out there for everyone to see.
  3. We respond to ugly.  Because we have issues (point 1), and you have issues (point 2), know that we will respond to a leader who goes through the same trials and tribulations as us.  Jesus came and lived life among us, in part to show us that he didn't demand something of us that he didn't do himself.  Let us into your process of progressive sanctification.  If you do that, you will lead us down an eternity shifting path.  
  4. The world is filled with broken and ugly people looking for a way out.  Our spiritual leaders need to show a little more brokenness and ugliness so that we know there is a way out.  Don't be perfect, be you.  That is what we want, real people who are just as screwed up as us showing us the way to and through salvation.

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