Don't Worry about Inviting Me
Dr. James Emery WhiteJames Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
- 2011 Sep 12
Don’t worry about inviting me to church this weekend.
Really. I’ve been thinking about it.
I know we’re friends, and you go to church, but I know talking about your faith makes you uncomfortable. At least, that’s the sense I get. We talk about a lot of stuff, but whenever church or God comes up, you get – I don’t know, tense. I’ve never understood why – it doesn’t weird me out as much as it does you – but I’m happy to relieve you of what is obviously something that makes you awkward.
Besides, what would I be missing?
It’s not like I’m an atheist – I’m not. I believe in God. I’m spiritual. And I want to do better; I’d like to understand the Bible, be a better parent, have a closer marriage, maybe even volunteer for something that would help others. But last time I went to church, that isn’t exactly what was offered.
Besides, we both know I’m not exactly a poster-child for Christianity. I’ve got baggage. I’ve got questions. I don’t think church is exactly the kind of place for someone like me.
And I don’t want to have to dress up.
I don’t want to be hit on for money.
I don’t like organ music.
And on top of all that, I don’t really believe in hell, so I’m not even that worried about what happens after I die. I’m sure that whatever life there is after death, it will turn out fine.
As far as my kids go, I think I want to just give them the freedom to choose whatever religion they want, if any religion at all. Church was boring for me when I had to go as a kid, so the last thing I want to do is drag them to one every week. It turned me off to church, and I’m sure it would just do the same for them. So it’s probably better if they just don’t go at all.
So don’t worry about trying to invite me to church.
It makes you awkward;
It won’t have anything to offer my life;
I couldn’t exactly come as I am;
I like wearing shorts;
I gave at the office;
I listen to Coldplay;
Hell is kind of a joke these days;
And my kids won’t like it.
But if, by chance, you think I have this all wrong,
then for God’s sake,
James Emery White