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SERMONETTE: Safe Christianity

By Rev. Kristi McLaughlin

Anew United Church of Christ, Mitchell

Without going into great detail, I would like to suggest that as Christianity found its way into the popular marketplace, it lost its edge. For too long now, Christianity has played it safe. Don’t rock the boat. Do “safe missions.” Don’t discuss edgy issues. Sit securely in our big houses remaining quiet and pretending we are “Christians” doing soup suppers for those who can pay.

And yet, when we look to the Jesus of the Bible, He was nothing safe. He angered every religious and political authority He dialogued and interacted with.

Meanwhile, American Christianity lost its edge. Being Christian became something pretty, fluffy and popular. Being Christian became a belief system rather than a subversive system of action uprooting systems of oppression, discrimination and exclusion. While in some circles, followers of Jesus are moving out of safe Christianity, there are still too many churches and Christians who choose to play it safe.

“Heaven is for Real” Christianity speaks nothing of a present-day breaking in of justice, which is what Jesus was and is, if we let Him be. Justice, love and inclusion breaking in radically and dangerously. Safe Christianity can continue and most likely it will. And some safe churches will continue to exist, at least for a while.

But I believe a movement is happening where safe Christianity will no longer be what followers want to experience. All we have to do is look at the pope, and while I am not sure if things will actually change with him, I do hope he is planting the seeds for dangerous Christianity to resurface. It is too bad, however, that it took a male pope for such change to happen.