the weblog of Alan Knox

When we pretend that everyone is normal and fine

Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in blog links | 5 comments

When we pretend that everyone is normal and fine

Swanny at “Allergic to BS” has written a great post called “The ‘F’ Word.” No, he’s not talking about THAT “F” word; he’s talking about the word “farce.”

What kind of “farce”? The farce of sitting together with a bunch of strangers (or relative strangers) for 1-2 hours each week and pretending that everything is fine.

In other words, he’s talking about not being real with one another… not sharing who we really are and what’s really going on in our lives.

At one point, Swanny writes:

Sometimes I would wonder, as I look down the row I was sitting in, who here has real problems. Out of the 10 people including me, we all just sit in passive brokenness. Somewhere among the 10, there is at least one person struggling with an abusive spouse, a child that has been molested, porn, schizophrenia, or having a hard time feeding their family. And of course, and including me, plenty who feel irreparably guilty either for something they have done or something done to them. You can hear the silent screams as the show goes on.

I’m so glad that God has placed people around me who share what’s going on in their lives. And I’m so grateful to be in a group of people who have allowed one another to share those struggles when we gather together.

(Make sure you read the rest of Swanny’s post… it’s very good.)


5 Comments

  1. 11-2-2012

    Swanny may have missed an obvious mark in the facade: the farce is more deeply about people practicing to appear outwardly as if what they know they should be inwardly in Christ. Of course, it becomes (most often) just so much hypocrisy on display. “If I can’t be in peace and love and joy, maybe I can act like I am and someday it just might come true?” Wishful thinking finds a ready space among the pews?
    Pretend among humans is still preferred to cross-carrying, 10,000 to 1.

  2. 11-2-2012

    Alan,

    Thanks for reading my blog post and sharing it on your site.

    Swanny

  3. 11-2-2012

    Alan,

    I read this with great interest because it was the topic of conversation amongst my brothers and me recently. We broke it down to this:

    **If you are saved, then why oh why do you send countless hours focusing on your faults, weaknesses, and basic failures in your life? Did not Salvation bring joy, peace, grace, power, strength, and answers?**

    In simpler terms, we wondered if a person who claims Christianity but still nonetheless is in a constant state of repair, despair, complaining, whining, or otherwise being weak-minded and NEVER growing in the faith, if indeed they have really met Jesus face-to-face or if they are playing at religion.

    Some bloggers I have encountered come to mind in this respect.

    Is my life this side of Heaven perfect? Pfft, of course not. But Jesus is perfect. He is strength. He is peace. He is joy. He is Life. Complaining and wallowing in any kind of self-indulgent and attention-seeking weakness is futile and unhealthy.

    I am more than patient in listening to the issues of others, but there comes a time when a line must be drawn in the sand and they need to either man-up or simply drop-out. There are no victims (people who relish and revel in their self-misery) in The Kingdom.

  4. 11-3-2012

    I actually dreamed about this last night —- the facade — the whole system of it all and how accepted & promoted it is. The irony of it all is too much. I woke up sweating, heart pumping feeling like I could run a marathon with all the adrenaline. Isn’t that crazy to dream about it & get fired up in my sleep!?

    I guess I went to sleep thinking about this because I just heard of a 2nd husband on a local “worship team” in a popular church business around here – that was just caught having a (long term and ongoing) affair – all the while staying on the “worship team” – 2nd one, same team, within a year of each other.

    It’s not surprising – playing an instrument does not make you a leader or elder….but what IS surprising is that we can’t see how the facade actually hinders our growth in Christ.

    NO doubt – SIN is to blame – we as individuals must take responsibility…. but the truth is – the whole system is part of the problem! It DOES take the place of true christian life.

    We NEED each other, in real, authentic, challenging, loving, close relationships. We can not grow in Christ without others. If we continue to promote the facade as Christianity or the Christian life – we are in danger of completely missing & stumbling over the Truth, Jesus.

  5. 11-5-2012

    Marshall,

    Yes, I’ve noticed that inward disconnect before as well. I’ve also noticed that if people are honest about the “outward appearance,” then the inner man becomes more transparent as well.

    Swanny,

    Thanks for the great post!

    Donald,

    I’ve found that as people are honest about who they really are (without continuing the “farce”) the growth comes more easily. Or, if they do not grow, then it becomes more clear that the person is not “in Christ.”

    Randi,

    That’s a great continuation of this discussion. You’re right – we need each other to grow in Christ. We just talked about that when studying Ephesians 4:1-16 together. And, we need each other just the way we are, not the way we pretend to be.

    -Alan

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