I attended a conservative Baptist church for 27 years.
I was a volunteer youth worker for seven of those, and attended countless concerts, retreats, mission trips, and "evangelism training" events.
I went to three private Christian colleges to earn my Bachelors degree.
On the subject of the evangelical Christian subculture, I know a thing or two about a thing or two. **
Today, I have read two online interviews from Christianity Today.
One with Jennifer Knapp, who recently announced that she's gay, and one with David Bazan (former lead singer of Pedro the Lion), who has reportedly "lost his faith."
Now, I can understand the "disappointment" that will undoubtedly occur when someone was a public representative of your community, and then their words or behavior, or both, seem to suggest that they have deserted said community.
It's not surprising, and it's only natural.
What I cannot abide is the pervasive attitude I have encountered on countless occasions, of Christians affecting an air of superiority, almost arrogance, when interacting with those whom they deem "prodigal children."
Often, if a Christian begins asking raw, vulnerable questions, it's almost as if a State of Emergency is declared.
"Oh no! She's really GAY?! She has a GIRLFRIEND? I thought she was a CHRISTIAN!"
"Oh, jeez...he's not even sure there's a GOD anymore? What on Earth do we DO?"
And my, oh my, whatever shall we do?
How about, we listen?
We do our very best to empathize with these precious souls' undoubtedly painful processes.
We force ourselves to become vulnerable and admit that we, too, have sometimes felt (*GASP!*) a little unsure.
We admit - however begrudgingly - that we may have unanswered questions fluttering about inside our brains as well.
We dismantle our fears by freely confessing them to each other.
And we trust that God is not averse to our candor.
In fact, we remind each other that He invites it.
**[Several years ago, I recorded (on VHS, kickin' it old-school) an interview with Amy Grant on 20/20, wherein she said "I think the true heart of God is wild and passionate and everything creative. Of course, we just barely scratch the surface of that because we're human.
But frankly, I sometimes feel grossed out by the ways in which we try to package that and sell it to people."
AMEN, sister! ]