Today I’m continuing my countdown of my favorite blog posts while I’m out of town. These were the posts that got the most readers, comments, Google searches, or the ones I just liked best. I’m posting them, slightly rewritten, for those of you who may have missed them, and for my long time readers who originally commented on them. This post originally appeared June of 2009.
What if we lived in a perfect world?
In a perfect world, there’d be teleportation so we wouldn’t have to walk in the rain, waffle irons wouldn’t spill all over the place, and Star Wars Episodes 1-3 wouldn’t exist.
Perhaps some of us have thought that in a perfect world, all of us would be Christians. We’d all get along and hold hands and side hug. I’ve got a few other ideas about what the world would be like though…
What if We All Were Christians?
No One to Witness To
When you have company over, you probably let them eat off of your plates. You serve them real food too. You probably picked up the old newspapers and clean the gunk out of your bathroom sink before they come over. You showered and got dressed. But when it’s ‘just family,’ you’re eating frozen pizza off of paper towels. Ah! Ah! Don’t deny it! You might wander around the house half dressed in your pajamas all day. You call the dog into the kitchen to lick up the spilled food rather than mopping the floor. No, I don’t do that. I just know that everyone else does. I don’t wear pajamas, thank you.
It’s a lot the same with Christians mixing it up with ‘others.’ When we’re in mixed company, we’re on call for ‘witnessing.’ We’re on our best behavior. Don’t want to be the ‘party foul’ guy that makes Christians everywhere look like hypocrites. But when it’s ‘just us Christians,’ I suspect things could get a little lax. When everyone is ‘just us Christians,’ well let’s just say I’m coming to church truly ‘as I am.’ If I’m half dressed in a stained t-shirt, with three-day stubble and insane bed head, that’s how God made me, and I’m beautiful. I’m not here to impress you, but hey, I got it, so I flaunt it.
Say Good-Bye to Entertainment
A few Christian movies in the mix is a good thing. A few Christian bands is a good thing. Christians have to try really hard because they’re competing with other talented people. But guess what? If every movie and music album out there was all churchy, it would be pretty boring. Here’s my catch-all movie script template in the all-Christian world:
Scene one: A family is in church, as usual. Where else would they be?
Scene two: The daughter faces a ‘moral’ dilemma, which since everyone is Christian, must not be a very interesting one. Probably something about some ‘sinful’ feelings she is having about a boy who has never spoken to her, but has piercing blue eyes. She made eye contact with him from across the room at the church potluck and her heart went all aflutter despite her sense of right and wrong.
Scene three: The daughter prays diligantly at her bedside about her problem.
Scene four: The daughter talks with her pastor about her problem.
Scene five: The daughter does the Christian thing to solve her problem, which in no way leads to a climactic showdown or a hilarious case of mistaken identity.
Movies are entertaining because they are about people doing bad things. That’s called conflict. With no conflict, everything is Sesame Street. Just look at our Christian bookshelves. Way too many books, and most of them are Sesame Street. That’s what happens when Christians have no one but each other to compete with.
How Would We Know Who to do Business with?
It’s easy to know who to call when you have raw sewage rapidly backing up into your basement. You open the yellow pages and skim the plumbers’ ads for one that features a little Jesus fish. That fish ensures that you have found the most qualified, timely, honest, and cheapest plumber. You also will enjoy the benefits of someone who already thinks like you, rather than placing yourself in the position of possibly being able to witness to someone.
But what if every restaurant was Chik-Fil-A? How would you know what God’s will is for your lunch-time fast food needs? What if every plumber had a fish on his truck? It would be impossible to know who was the best!
No More Altar Calls
Well, I guess it wouldn’t be all bad if everyone were Christians…Not having an altar call, that extra 15 minutes not spent with every head bowed and every eye closed just might give the Baptists an edge in the after-church scramble to get to Golden Corral. That’d give those Methodists a run for their money. They just might have to start going to early church!
Someone Wouldn’t Be “Christian”
We have lots of non-Christian ‘Christians.’ Those are people who think they’re Christians, but they add lots of weird books to the Bible and have perfect hair and smile a lot and wear black ties and ride bicycles, and they’re creepy enough to even creep out other Christians.
But even if we were able to get rid of all those groups, another one would just pop up. And if it didn’t, we’d just name someone ‘non-Christians.’ Tabloid mags wouldn’t go away. They’d just be filled with stories of people who were suddenly ‘less’ Christian than everyone else.
Wouldn’t it be weird if all our non-Christian Christians rose up and took over the all-Christian world, and enslaved all the real Christians, and made them feel that they were the ones who were less than Christian?
Not Much Would Change
Would it really be a perfect world? Would wars and poverty stop? Would people stop getting divorced? Would toasters stop breaking just after their warranties expire? If the Bible has taught me anything, the real solution to our problems is abandoning a war-scorched Earth and sending a tiny group of people, including me, to create a new civilization on Mars.
What do you think the world would be like if everyone were Christians?