A Dangerous Disconnect

Blank_Danger.jpgI lived in a small upstairs apartment.  Actually, this apartment was part of a large house.  It had its own outside entrance and was not a bad situation.  The owners of the apartment, an older man and his wife, lived below.  They had long been retired and now made a little money by renting out this apartment.  I didn’t know much about this couple.  I did know they were Christians.  They were a part of a church of the same tribe as myself.  These people were there twice on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.   

I had finished school within the previous six months.  I was still single, somewhere between college and the rest of life.

A couple of friends came to visit me one weekend.  Both of these guys stayed in the apartment over the weekend. One was on the couch and the other in a sleeping bag.  These were great guys and longtime friends.  We all had a great weekend together.

Monday morning, I left the apartment to get into my car.  There on the windshield was a note.  The note was from the landlord telling me that I was to vacate his apartment in two weeks.  "It is not working out."

I was stunned.  "Not working out?"  That afternoon, I went to the man’s house to talk with him.  He appeared to be very nervous.  He finally said that the reason I would have to move out is because one of the friends who had visited me that weekend was black.  "What?  I’m not sure I understand" was my reply.  I went on to say something like, "How can you do this?  You are asking me to leave because one of these guys is black?  I don’t get this.  My friend is a former student at Pepperdine University and has preached in a number of churches.  He’s a great guy.  What I really don’t understand is that you are a Christian."

His reply?  "That has nothing to do with this.  That is church.  This is business."

I left his house that day feeling angry. 

Years later, I have a different reaction.  Oh it still makes me angry to think about this.  However, what has my attention now is the disconnect of this man between Sunday and Monday morning.  This has my attention because I have seen how easy it is to do the same thing this man did almost thirty years ago.  It is so easy to behave in ways that contradict one another.  It is easy to be in church on Sunday morning and then act in a way that is foreign to what we talked about that morning.

The truth is that at the center of my life is my life with God.  Out of this center, I live.  This center impacts the other dimensions of my life which are very important as well.  I am an emotional being, a relational being, a physical being, etc.  I am a man, father, husband, minister, friend, citizen, etc.  The center of my life, God, is to impact all of these areas as well.

The disconnect is dangerous.  Without that center that impacts every other dimension of our lives, our faith is thin and fails to inform and shape the rest of our lives.

What is the most blatant disconnect that you have seen? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “A Dangerous Disconnect

  1. Jim
    I have a friend who is married to a minister. One day at work one of the members of that congregation asked where Eric went on vacation. My friend said he was still in town and wondered why she would ask such a thing. The member replied she hadn’t seen him at church on Sunday to which this reply came—"He is on vacation". He hadn’t left town at all he had simply taken a vacation from worship.

  2. I’m amazed how I still see this today.  So many disconnect "church" from their lives at times. 
    Honestly I have members at the church where I attend that I can imagine could say something like this at anytime. 
    Like it or not much racisim is still rampant.  Even in the church.
    I enjoy your blog.  Blessings

  3. Jim, I have seen plenty of disconnects in my time. I am more concerned right now that this is at least the second time in a week or so that you have polled us for bad examples of Christianity. These are easy enough to generate. I’m guessing that the parking lot of a megachurch 20 minutes after worship ends has a lot of potential for disconnects. Hungry people. late for breakfast – a recipe for disaster! Surely we could be more uplifting as a group by sharing better examples of Christianity. This is not a shot at you personally, but a genuine concern for why the blog has taken this direction of late. Everything OK in Waco?

  4. Liam,A great question.Pastorally, I want to recognize that this "disconnect", in part, is a product of the secularization that is everywhere around us.  I want to help the people I work with learn to integrate their faith into all of their lives instead of compartmentalizing their faith.While I am very concerned about this, I do see this as an opportunity to look again at the Lordship of Christ and see the connection to all of life.So pastorally, I do think we need to address this.  However, my goal would be to come along side another and help this person see how Christ informs and shapes the various roles we play in life.I also want to make sure I am modeling this for people–however imperfectly. 

  5. Dave,Thanks for your comment.  What you are reading reflects many conversations, talking with people about their own struggles with disconnection.  I am thankful for lots of men and women who love Jesus and want him to permeate all of life. One of my greatest concerns is that we take this disconnection for granted. These conversations have reminded me that there are many people who see this in their own lives and want to address it.Thanks again. 

  6. When someone’s utilities have been cut off it is generally because they did not pay the bill. When people disconnect from true Christianity, they have failed to pay the price of prayer.
    Living in the South, I have observed Sunday morning worship hour as the most segregated time of the week. Granted, cultural differences play a part, but much of it is racial intolerance. If we name the name of Christ we should live by His principles. Whether we live by them or not, we will be judged by them.
    Thank you for sharing this post. It is dangerous to disconnect. If we are disconnected from the Vine we will wither and die.

  7. Sista Cala,Thanks so much for your comment.  I like what you say regarding the danger of disconnecting from the vine.