“Poll: When you hear the word Christian what word most quickly comes to mind. The six most popular words were the following: hypocritical, judgemental, anti-homosexual, conversionist, too political, and sheltered.” This is from a book we’re reading in class. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this? Random folks, both practicing Christians and not, what word first comes to mind when describing the church. This is the list folks. Should we not be embarrassed by this? I mean, really. This is embarrassing. Christianity is supposed to be a religion that transforms lives and 91% of the people surveyed said they identify Christianity as being anti-homosexual. That’s just sparkly. But then again, what do we do to change that view? It’s not like we actually try to go out into the communities and help people. We stay isolated in our little boxes and then go home to our little boxes. We never actually get out to see the world as it exists. Conversionist, that’s a good one too. Folks think that all we’re worried about as Christians is converting people. We don’t care about friendship all we want is the convert. That’s probably why recent converts stop attending church. Somebody does something cool to get them into the waters, but when they really start coming to church, they have no friends because they’re not the New Kid in Town anymore and everyone has moved on to the next big thing. So they leave. This shouldn’t surprise us, but somehow it does. I guess I’m guilty of doing this myself, but at least I notice it. Most people don’t even notice it. We need to do better work at being church communities. We’re not. We’re just groups of people that gather for a couple hours on a Sunday then go home, go however many hours without really talking to each other, then come back to church on Sunday. Nice….back to conversions…I had someone ask me a while back if their child’s friend, who is Mormon, would stop being friends with the child once they realized that the other person wouldn’t convert. Is it sad that this is even a question? I think so. I would hope that does not happen, but I’d bet that it does. Sad. Do we put that much focus on conversion that we don’t even care about relationships? Maybe that’s why I don’t share the Gospel with folks so often. Maybe I want to share by example and not just start spewing from the mouth something about God. I don’t want a friendship with that person, I just want them to come to church. Most folks have pretty good bull shit detectors and they can see through stuff like that. We need to have genuine relationships with people before they can really even consider learning about the Gospel. They need to know that we value friendship about numbers. But we’re pretty piss poor at showing that. There are a lot of things that I would like to do in the congregation. But sometimes we get talked out of things because we don’t think they’ll bring converts into the church. maybe we should stop worrying about what will bring in converts and think about helping the community. Hmm…what a concept….I’m a little bit annoyed right now. We’re not even celebrating Easter in church this year. I mean, really. We get to have another Fast Sunday this month on the 29th, then we get General Conference on the 5th, then Stake Conference on the 12th. And we wonder why people think we don’t believe in Jesus Christ. For my Methodist friends, Easter is, I believe, a 13 week season that runs from Ash Wednesday, through Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, then the remaining Sunday’s of Easter before ending on Pentecost. 13 weeks…we can’t even muster 1. I just don’t get it. And perhaps what irritates me more is that no one else even recognizes this. Easter. The highest High Holy Day on the Christian calendar…and we don’t even celebrate it in church. Ain’t that special? Sigh….