Church = Safe?

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It’s safe for everyone. Clean jokes and cleaner fun
Come bring the kids and wife. Stay safe and stay alive.

We’ll close and lock the doors, to keep the bad ones out
That’s how we’ll show them just how good it is inside this house

They’d hurt our young, they’d steal our time
They’d eat our bread and drink our wine.

I’d rather fail a thousand times than live in fear and never try
It’s safe and quiet now, far from the seething crowds

Who clamor for what they deserve, those sinners sure do have some nerve,
We’ve earned our right to live in peace by choosing Christ and living quietly

A thousand times I’d rather fall than be afraid to move at all
After all what is this thing that you call grace? And is it safe? – “Safe” by Justin McRoberts

I recently downloaded music by Justin McRoberts on Noisetrade.com. I had never heard of him, but I’m glad I got his music. If you like acoustic, folk-ish music with good lyrics and harmonies, then you will like him.

The lyrics above really resonate with me and some of my experiences with church. Being open and loving has been more of a theory or idea rather than a practice deeply implanted and fleshed out in my life. The “outside” world was more of a danger or reckless world of sin of which I could easily escape in my safe Christian bubble. This isn’t the fault of anyone in particular, but rather a mentality of many people that says we’d rather have a mass of people like us together, which may or may not reach out to those around us. We have friends that are like us, we do things that we all like, and we all stay safe. Any intruders will be easily noticed, perhaps told that “we don’t do that here”, or stared at by the regulars.

I know some of this is a bit of caricature, but underneath it is a seed of truth. Like an actual caricature drawing, the people in the artistic rendering are the actual people, but seen in a distorted light by the artist. Typically, all the flaws or slightly disproportionate aspects of the people are brought out resulting in some embarrassing expressions. Yet, the truth remains that although they may be distorted they can also bring out some aspects of the people that they didn’t see themselves.

Sometimes it takes songs like this one to point things out and get us talking. Sometimes our bubbles need to pop.

Any thoughts?

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