By Ginger Sinsabaugh MacDonald I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I’m a bit burned out on my faith. Yeah, I said it, blogged it, so it will be Google-able in cyberspace for eternity. Christianity is right up there with Barbie Dolls, “Brady Bunch” reruns and Weldon Bisnett. It’s something that used to be the center of my universe, but has burned out like an old star.
Let me rewind. For the past few years, I’ve been holding a one person crusade to inform others about teen pregnancy and trying to get “the Church” to care about the epidemic issue. After all, Christianity revolves around the son of a teen mom. But I’ve had about as much luck as Mary did knocking on doors looking for churches who cared about the cause. “We don’t have room for that program,” was always the reply.
Over the summer, my faith turned to cynicism and hit an all-time spiritual low, making me as bitter as overcooked collard greens.
At first I thought something was wrong with me. But then I realized there was something wrong with the American Church. Humility has been replaced with a mega-mentality. Communion with consumerism is making Christianity no different than other products, a real- good-feel -good Metamucil for the soul.
You know what I’m talking about. Sunday morning is about what will bring money into the offering plate instead of people to Christ. It’s about hip websites and logos instead of the Christian sense of the word logos.
It’s one of the reasons why my husband and I are looking to leave this country in 2010 for a little world evangelism. No, we aren’t venturing out to save the world, but hopefully be saved by it. We are gearing up to teach English in a foreign country, not to sneak in Bibles, but to get a peak at Christ through lens other than America’s rosy specs.
But for those of you who won’t be traveling to a place with scratchy toilet paper to reconnect to God, I suggest you pick up The Next Evangelicalism by Soong-Chan Rah. Soong-Chan, a Korean-American Christian, thinks that churches in this country have mixed up the American dream with God’s will.
While the font size is small and many of the words stretched my non-doctorate-degree vocab, the book is a must read. Soong-Chan does a good job bringing awareness to the white-bread mentality of the American church, raising all kinds of interesting questions. After I finished reading it, I felt like a devoured a lot of frosting and wanted a bit more cake. I craved to learn more about the doctrinal differences between ethnic churches in this country.
Also, The Next Evangelicalism left me wanting to know how churches outside view Christianity. Is it the same faith even though our cultures are different? Do they feel a need to save us the way we, American Christians feel the need to save them?
Soong-Chan had the guts to expose dirt other churches sweep under their carpet, dealing with the marketing and American monopoly of the faith. And now that the dirt has been Swiffered away, there is more room for God on Sunday mornings, as there should be.
Ginger Sinsabaugh MacDonald Since 1984, Ginger has been splitting her time between advertising and urban youth ministry in Chicago. She is the Top Cookie of TastyFaith.com. It’s not a bakery, but a micro-publisher that connects the hope of Christ to non-sugarcoated issues, including teen pregnancy and illiteracy. You can reach her at Ginger@TastyFaith.com