I read a very interesting article last week and I wanted to speak to each point it makes. Unfortunately I cannot locate the original author to give proper credit due. But this is a quote and the first point I want to discuss. “Cynicism is not the key to lasting change. Here’s how to pull the plug on it.
I have a confession to make: I’m cynical about the Church. And because I’m cynical, I decided to give up.
I’ve always struggled with my cynicism. It’s something I fight daily, while wanting to be wrapped in the wonder of God.
But unfortunately, things like reality, petty disputes and little vices get in the way. They take my hope in the Church and mold it into a destructive attitude.
Just recently, after another brutal controversy rocked the Christian world, I felt my cynical attitude rage with fiery passion. It was hard to ignore this time. It kept tugging on my mind like a 3-year-old snatching at his mother’s dress. I couldn’t turn away.
Just as it reached its peak, I gave up.
I didn’t choose to give up my faith, however. I don’t think I could ever stop believing in God.
Instead, I gave up several of the attitudes I held toward the Church and toward my own opinions and beliefs. I gave up jumping into every squabble, always having to be right, being frustrated that the Church isn’t perfect and other destructive attitudes I’ve had for years. I’ve found this attitude shift has helped transform my cynicism into hope—something that will ultimately help the Church and my faith much more than my negative attitude.
Maybe you, like me, are finding cynicism creeping into your view of the Church. Here are a few tips to get rid of that attitude.
1. Say ‘No’ to Church Drama.
Sometimes, the Church can play out like a middle school cafeteria, where it becomes a game of “he said/she said.” Social media has only amplified this tendency. It seems like every two weeks a new controversy strikes the Christian world, and blogs must get out their responses within two days or risk their opinion not being heard.
But as we continue to comment on the issues that divide, we only stir the pot in a cycle that distracts us from our true mission: love God and love others.
If we can learn anything from middle school, it’s this: Adamantly standing for an opinion when facing petty drama never matters as much as we think it does.”
Should I really have to go any further? Ok we’ll go deeper:
The drama of who is interrupting the meeting I’m having or the rehearsal I mm running or voicing an opinion on how this should be executed when they haven’t played a part in the inception of an idea……..oh yeah, we get royally offended and defensive……and cause petty, juvenile, blown – out – of – proportion arguements…. and somehow manage to find the worst in the people we’re claiming to want to go to heaven with.
HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT?
But here’s how I check my cynicism….even in the face of such trial and petty behavior….
They are all imperfect humans….Just like me.
I struggle with stirring the “pot” so to speak, because people are dying due to the majority of churches ignoring the pot all together. I believe it is my calling to face and dispel the myths and misnomers about scripture and church. To divide fact from fiction. Theology and pulpit rhetoric from biblical truth.
I admit I love that job. I love making church folk uncomfortable. I love talking about sex, addiction, porn, homosexuality, racism, politics, money laundering, fraud, obesity, gluttony, stewardship….all the things that church ignores and glosses over.
But I don’t want to stir the pot for the sake of stirring it. I want to change the flavor. And complete my purpose in life. So I work the high wire balancing act of stirring for change and not defending a belief.
God never called us to defend christianity. It’s one of the greatest mistakes of the modern day church. Never called us to enforce morality. Never called us to become the religious police. He only called us to love….
Just love each other.
If I could see that….I would struggle with cynicism. …I would have hope.