Plastic or Real Christians

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Casting Crowns is, in my opinion, a very gifted group of men who have a talent for writing lyrics that touch me. A long time favorite of mine is their song “Stained Glass Masquerade”. In this song the group questions the sincerity, honesty and transparency of church members. Sometimes, Christians get caught up in what church should look like instead of what church is. The church is a hospital—and hospitals are full of sick people, hurt people, broken people and dying people. Unfortunately, in America the church looks more like a country club than a hospital. Don’t get me wrong our Christian Country Clubs are full of sick people, hurt people, broken people and dying people—the problem is they don’t come for healing—they come for a show, to be social and to be seen. Read the words to the first verse and chorus:

Is there anyone that fails? Is there anyone that falls? Am I the only one in church today feeling so small? Cause when I take a look around everybody seems so strong. I know they’ll soon discover that I don’t belong. So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay. If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too. So with a painted grin, I play the part again, so everyone will see me the way that I see them. Are we happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples, with walls around our weakness, and smiles to hide our pain; but if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken. Maybe then we close the curtain, on our stained glass masquerade.

If only the Christians in church would risk being real. How can we expect the world to accept our invitation to love them despite their sin and brokenness if they never see sin and brokenness within the church. I have said it before, one of the reasons Jesus looks so good in Scripture is because everyone else looks so bad. Jesus’ perfection, His righteousness, His love, His submission to the will of God stands in such stark contrast to the petty, forgetful, fumbling, stumbling, sinful people that fill the Bible. I don’t look overweight when you stand me next to a guy who is my height and weighs 400 lbs—but I am overweight and it is easy to see when I am standing next to a guy who is my height who only weighs 175 lbs. (I weigh 240-250 lbs depending on the day and the dessert!) 

As a church we don’t need more pretty, perfect, plastic Christians. What we need is more broken and sinful people who are saved by grace. That kind of a church will attract crowds by the thousand!

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