Saturday, March 5, 2011

Emergency Room For Sinners

Port au Prince's shattered Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption
On a recent trip to Knoxville, Tennessee I was trying to pull my Jeep out and merge into on-coming traffic that was letting out from monolithic christian church directly up the street.  To no avail, no one was going to let me in among the long line of cars.  In a moment of frustration I edged out a bit earlier than I should have and was greeted by a cacophony of horns.

My first reaction was, "You are all coming from church. Maybe you should turn around and pay greater attention to the sermon on compassion and loving kindness".  I suppose I expected a greater degree of compassion from a crowd that was just exiting a Sunday service. Adjectives that leaped to mind were "hypocritical" and "arrogant". 

Reading Timothy Keller's book, The Reason For God the author offered up this explanation, "Churches are hospitals for sinners, not museums for saints".  It all became clear reading Keller's words.  Why should I expect greater compassion from someone that is a devout attendee of a church service?  Would I expect to find healthy people in the hospital emergency room?  It was a good lesson.

1 comment:

Flaccid_Weasel said...

I was raise in the North and now live in the South. It is interesting to see, hear, and experience the hyper-religious folks that populate this area of the country. MANY people will let you know what church they attend, quote the bible, and offer ways on how you should live your life. More than a few of these same people lie, cheat on their spouses, drink to excess, and make it a habit of analyzing and judging those around them. What are they learning from their religions? If they are indeed learning, that why are the teachings not being put into practice? It is easy to attend a church and preach to others. It is far harder to "walk the walk".