One of the reasons we continue down a divided road is because we can’t seem to have honest dialogue anymore without getting mad or checking out of the discussion all together. We aren’t so much the united body of Christ as we are a civil war.
Pastor and best-selling author Michael Cheshire has taken on our differences in his book Why We Eat Our Own (First Punch Press 2013).
Cheshire says we have become consumed with infighting, judgment and pointless debates. He says that it’s like Christianity’s own brand of racism and discrimination: If you vote for a Democrat, you are a baby killer. If you vote for a Republican, you hate poor people. If you get involved with social justice, you’re a Humanist. If you don’t, you’re self centered.
People are leaving the Christian church in droves. Cheshire found in his research for the books that the average Christian follower walking out the door is not weak, unwilling to be committed, or intrinsically selfish. They are leaving first and foremost because they are tired of being treated harshly by other Christians. Cheshire believes that dragging our differences and arguments into the light of day will be the first step in breaking our mean habits.
It is astonishing that a recent study showed that more than half of the unmarried women getting abortions were Christians. Instead of being enfolded in the loving and grace filled arms of the congregation, they knew they would face censure and judgment.
The answer, says Cheshire is grace–grace to love the unlovable, grace to love the repentant, grace to help those who are lying exposed and bleeding on the Christian church battlefield. Yes, even grace to love both the Democrat and Republican Christian.
In 2008, Michael, a group of friends started The Journey Church in the town of Conifer, Colorado, which had been nicknamed “the church graveyard.” Journey now regularly attracts 700 people from the small, wooded community and has become a vibrant, growing, and integral part of this town of 9,000 residents.
Michael is the author of How to Knock Over a 7-11 and Other Ministry Training. He is a regular contributor to Leadership Journal.com and provides church consulting. He is also one of the Roundtable speakers—an invitation-only think tank of pastors and seminary teachers—that develop ideas on how to be an authentic New Testament church based on true grace and forgiveness.
Why We Eat Our Own, ISBN: 978-0-9853811-304 Price: $14.95, 147 pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9853811-2-7