A: Some can… and some can’t. (And that can be taken a whole lot of ways — and should!)
I’m reading a book by Dave Burchett: When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. From the beginning, it has me thinking of the breakdown in our dance — my dance — with Jesus… and, thereby, our dance with neighbor and the world around us.
From the start, his words challenge and confront and haunt me — as, I believe, they should haunt all in the Church:
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. (Brennan Manning)
Many of the unchurched I talk to base their rejection of Christ on a bad experience with a Christian… I believe a disturbingly high percentage of Christians leave the church and even the faith because of a bad experience with a Christian, a Christian leader, or group of Christians. (Dave Burchett)
It strikes me that, before we can ask others to dance with us, we might need to sound a real apology for the ways we’ve already stepped on their toes — or, at least, being part of a company that’s been all too prone to step on toes… and not acknowledge it or, worse still, justify it. (It’s like those times I’ve been most successful in traveling and engaging locals overseas — apologizing for us arrogant Americans. Don’t you know Brits get tired of the ” joking” — about needing to drive on the “right side of the road”… and learning to speak English correctly?! Not sure they are as enamored with us as we’d like to think… and, in my mind, for good reason! Amazing how they warm up to you when you admit that Americans can be so cocky!)
And the “Lord of the Dance”? He, too, deserves an apology… indeed, apologies: among other things, for our so taking over and corrupting “His dance” that we’ve encouraged so many to leave the dance floor, so many to look elsewhere for peace and joy of/in life and living.