Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm Not a Role Model

I have been having an online conversation for the last couple of days with a group of atheist and people leaving the church. It began well, but quickly degenerated into a steady barrage of attacks and name calling.  I am not saying I was entirely outside of the fray, but I tried to maintain an air of respect throughout.

Finally, one person shared with me that almost all of the participants in the conversation had connections, in the past, with organized religions, and specifically Judeo-Christian religions and had decided to "throw Jesus under the bus."  This person also expressed the need to have a place to feel comfortable and to continue their journey away from the church.

Throughout the conversation I kept thinking:

 "What is so threatening about God."

Truth is, I am not sure that was the appropriate question.

I used to be a cop.  I was a cop for 10 years and every single day I was out on the street I was the face of the government.  If I was having a good day and was being kind, the citizenry had a kind government.  If I was pissed off at TVWM (I know, that seems highly improbable) they had an angry possibly vengeful government.  If I couldn't sleep the night before they had an impatient slightly lazy government.  It did not matter what type of government we truly had, the face of the government was my face. 

To the people, I was the government.

Likewise, those of us who claim to be followers of Christ, whether we like it or not, are the face of God to the world.  If we are hypocrites, God is a hypocrite.  If we are judgmental, God is judgmental.  If we hate, God hates.  If we are racist, so is God.

To the world, we are God.

A few years ago, Charles Barkley (for those non-sports fans Charles used to play basketball) shook up the world with the simple statement:

"I'm not a role model."

Parents, teachers, those in the media, virtually everyone pointed out how absurd that statement was.  He was a role model just by playing, just by being on television.  Thousands, if not millions, of little kids, and adults, across the country would have given up almost anything to be Charles.  He WAS a role model.

Truth is, we are just like Charles.  While everyone may not look up to us followers of Christ in the way they look up to Charles, we are, by our very own claims, a role model of God to the world.  It is a big responsibility, and one we should not take lightly.

So, what is so threatening about God?

We are.
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