church people

Let's get something straight. I'm not now nor do I ever hope to be a church person.
I watch reality TV, I listen to "gangsta" rap, I think it's okay for most people to have a beer or 2 socially, I tend to vote democrat and I have an abundance of non-Christian friends. Don't get me wrong, I’m a bible reading, gospel sharing, god fearing Christian who owes my life to the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross. Unfortunately, in my experience so far, that makes me a bit of an anomaly around these parts. But God willing I won't let them break me. I will never be a church person.
I'm relatively new to this whole Christianity thing. I spent more than 25 years of my life pretty far away from god. During those years, I spent a lot of time looking down my nose at Christians. I thought of them as "out of touch with reality". I found them to be hypocritical, exclusionary, gullible and naive. And from what I could tell, they couldn't even get along with each other. (What else could account for the gazillion different denominations and splinters within the Christian faith?)
What I’m realizing now is that it wasn't Christians that I was disgusted with; it was what I now affectionately call church people. Church people live cut off from the world. They listen only to Christian music, read only Christian literature, and hang out only with their Christian friends. They put on the super fake mask of a sin free life and make judgments against anyone who doesn't hold to their exact belief structure. Church people love "religion". They love a neat and tidy set of rules to live by. Church people ignore grace - both grace for themselves and grace toward others. And they seemingly miss some of the coolest parts of being a Christian. Rather than engage the world they withdraw from it. Rather than being "salt and light" to the world they become jury and executioner. And unfortunately, church people seem to be the loudest and most visible Christians around. Which breaks my heart, on a daily basis.
So if you aren't a Christian, please don't make the same mistake that I did for years. Please don't judge us by our brothers and sisters who happen to be church people. On behalf of my Christian family, I apologize. I apologize for our hypocrisy, our injustice and our short sightedness. I apologize for the many times we've been and continue to be exclusionary, judgmental and accusatory. I apologize for the way some of us have taken something beautiful like Christianity and made a big mess of it.
But most importantly, I apologize for a lot of the Christian pop music that is polluting the airwaves - because it is really bad. (I’ve realized that living in a town who's radio stations are either Christian or country) please, I beg you, whatever you do don't judge us based on that.

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