Hello everyone! Yes that is a picture of cans. I wanted a picture of cans to illustrate a point in this blog. As you can tell the cans are neatly stacked, labeled and organized. Not too different from some of our spiritual theology and Christian books these days. Now don't get me wrong, those things have their place in the church and they do help us organize our beliefs and many times figure out exactly what to believe on a a subject. However, the neatly organized, labeled and stacked canned theology and writings of the modern church do little to help the hurting person.
Why do you ask? Because a hurting person usually doesn't come a from a "neat and organized" background, unless that background was a facade for something else. They don't normally come from a background in which anything is correctly "labeled" or even named for what it really is. Religious cliches and "steps" to overcoming, and that is exactly what they are, mean nothing to them. Those who have grown up in the church are secure in their theology and beliefs. The hurting person who did not grow up in church and who probably never knew love, as many of the churched do; is not secure in anything, much less in their beliefs. They never knew what may happen to them from one day to the next. Many of these people have had terrible parental examples in their past so relating to a Heavenly Father Who is good will be very difficult for them and takes time for them to understand.
Church, are you beginning to see why the canned theology and canned books won't work. Even the Bible isn't canned! I think we "can" things in an attempt to make them simple to understand and grasp, it's part of our human nature. However, by doing so, we put God seemingly out of reach to many - they wonder why pursue someone who expects everything to be so "neat and organized?" They know their lives aren't neat and organized - in fact they are messy, frightening and not perfect. Church, we must not give them the impression they have to come "organized, neat and all clean." We do them a horrible disservice when we do that. Jesus wants them imperfect, messy, dirty and unorganized so He can love them and work on their hearts and in their lives - and guess what, not to make them perfect or follow religious rules! He doesn't need our "prescriptions" or our high mindedness where hurting people are concerned, He needs us to love them right where they are - no cans and no string attached.
We must step away from our canned theology and canned books if we as a church hope to help the hurting and the lost. If we do not, we risk further alienating them from the truth of the gospel. And the gospel is exactly what they need!
Getting rid of my "cans",