I'm Going to Get in Trouble for Saying This

I met my neighbor, David, out walking one day and he and I and a few other neighbors got together recently to play A Game of Thrones board game. For Memorial Day, they brought their families over to my house for a barbeque, and then we played games afterwards.


As we were swapping stories over burgers, someone asked how we met, and Katy shared how I invited her to a bible study back in the day when she was a beer-drinking rugby player. After some laughter, one woman (whom I’d never met before this night) looks at me and timidly asks, “Are you a pastor or something?” Oh boy, now it’s on. “Yes, I am,” I said, and I asked if she’d had any experience with religion.

She talked some about growing up in Southeast Asia and then mentioned that she knew some Christians.

“Oh,” I said, “Is that good or bad?”

She asked what I meant, and here’s my honest reply: “Well, it seems like a lot of Christians are assholes.”

A couple of the guys set down their beers to laugh out loud and comment, and one of the wives gave a mischievous look at her husband, who threw up his hands saying, “I didn’t say ‘asshole’ – he did!” His look at me suggested he was quite glad I had.

“Yeah but you were thinking it!” his wife said. “I know you’re thinking of my mother!” At which point he freely confessed that yes, her mother came to mind.

“Well,” she paused, “she IS an asshole. And the biggest hypocrite I know. I can’t believe she says she follows God but has so much hate in her. She’s told me three times I’m going to hell.”

Thus began a fabulous conversation with lots of honest sharing about people’s experiences with religion and about how radically different Jesus is.

I suppose I shouldn’t have said the “a——” word (especially since my mother reads these blogs), but it’s the honest truth. The more we admit that Christians are messed up, too, the more real our conversations will be about the spiritual journey.

By Bill White