Yesterday evening I checked my mailbox. Junk mail. As usual.
But this time, one of the advertisements caught my eye. It was a postcard from a church in my area—an invitation to their special Easter services. The front of the advertisement read: “We’re nearly as harmless as, well…a bunny.” Followed by a picture of one of those marshmallow “peeps.” I kid you not. I flipped the card over and read:
Does the thought of going to church make you uneasy, even a little queasy? Maybe you’re worried about what to wear or what others will think. At ______, we’ve worked really hard to make your experience non-threatening, beneficial, and even fun. We have a no-pressure, laid-back style and everyone is welcome! Stop by one of our ten Easter Services… it will be more than you expected and everything you’ve been looking for. Wear whatever you want, just be yourself. We’ll have the coffee ready for you.
Now, I’m not aware of a single church that wants to come across as threatening, miserable, and a waste of time. I have no problem with churches that work hard on being welcoming. And I really appreciate good coffee. But something about their whole presentation seemed, frankly … a bit pathetic: “Don’t be scared of us! We’re not that bad! We’re ‘harmless’! We’re nicer and more comfortable than all those other stiff, meanie churches.”
I know there are many “Christians” who have done horrible things in the name of Jesus. I know there are countless individuals who have been hurt by churches. Those situations are sad and should not be swept under the rug. But still…it seems to me that some churches spend way too much time apologizing and trying to “fit in.” Like the kid in high school who will do anything to get friends—only to find out those “friends” mock him behind his back for being so insecure.