Buck Naked Faith.

March 19, 2007 at 10:31 am 4 comments

Thought maybe the title alone would get me a few hundred hits!

We are in Draper, Utah watching our two Utah grandsons, while their parents are on a brief get-a-way to Las Vegas.  I have forgotten what it is like to care for two little guys full time even with Linda doing more than her share.  I have great respect for single parents who do this all the time with no help.  We are done in a couple of days but for parents who do it alone, it is never done.  All in all being a grandparent is a good deal.

Pulled this book “Buck Naked Faith” off the shelf and started reading it.  It is written by Eric Sandras a Vineyard pastor in California.  It has some pretty strong things to say about the church and the way in which it has become stunted and anemic in our culture.

He talks a lot about whether or not we feel free to be real in the faith community we attend.  Though we are all called to be like Jesus we are also individuals who embrace a multitude of different lifestyles and people who come with a variety of quirks.  We are not all the same but there seems to be a pressure exerted by the church for us to conform to whatever the norm is of that Family. 

Sandras encourages us to ask this question: Does my community provide an atmosphere of freedom that allows each person to be honest, gives them permission to stumble, and even lets them ask hard questions without the fear of punishment, shame or rejection? Is it just as okay to say, “I doubt,” as it is to say, “I believe,” in my house of worship?

It doesn’t take long for a community of faith to start acting alike and even to start looking alike.  Standards of dress and behavior that are not really about looking like Jesus so much as they are looking like some conformity to what a community of faith has decided looks like Jesus.

Again, Dr. Sandras writes: Whenever we feel the pressure to conform, we should ask our selves, “Is this something Jesus would have died for?”  This question should be applied to all of our church culture, from the importance of looking hip in church to the type of music we worship with to how we do evangelism.  We spend a lot of energy in churches promoting our opinions.  Soon our opinions become our creed, our creeds become our dogma, and then we find ourselves… trying to fit everyone into our expectations.

If Jesus didn’t die for it we probably shouldn’t either. I often ask myself the question related to all sorts of things “am I willing to die for this?”  That is am I willing to let this issue be something that I am going to go all the way to the wall for?  There really are not that many issues of conformity worth dieing for.

Seriously, do you think Jesus’ preference of an organ or a guitar on Sunday morning is what kept him on the cross?

Is the church you attend a safe or an unsafe place to share the secret side of your life?  If your community members knew what was in your past or your present how do you think they would handle it?  You can share your thoughts without using your name if you want.


Entry filed under: Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Jesus, Northwest, Thoughts.

A restoration story: Part 5 Zion’s hope?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. renversgirl  |  March 22, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    wow, it’d be nice if i thought i could be real, i think that i would blow some peoples hair back if they knew what/who i have been/done. i don’t know that i feel safe enough where i am now. i would love to feel that i wouldn’t scare/offend someone but i also realize that, i would/do scare/offend people every day with my realness and i am okay with that. not that i try to be offensive, i just try to be who i am trying to be who God wants me to be, some days are obviously better than others

  • 2. The Yachats Kid  |  March 20, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Greg ~ very well stated. In my work with over 700 churches I have found a growing cadre of churches who are “getting it’ and “getting down and dirty” in the issues and journey of grace. “No church or individual gets it all right” ~ so I applaud any church that moves into these arenas.
    On the Journey of Grace…
    The Yachats Kid

  • 3. pistolpete  |  March 19, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve found that the most authentic faith communities can generally be found in 12-step recovery groups. I have a sense the church has a lot to learn from them.

  • 4. BS  |  March 19, 2007 at 11:11 am

    read this book a couple years ago and really dug it.
    being in a community/church where you can be REAL is HUGE for me.
    something i would love to see in every church.
    a place where you don’t just call yourself a family, you really ARE a FAMILY.
    not just talking about community and fellowship but actually living them out.
    a place where if somone disaggrees they aren’t told to shut up and get back in line.
    a place where freedom reigns because i do believce that FREEDOM is one of the things that kept JESUS on the cross.

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