Blake Griffin wonders why Christians don’t act more like Jesus

Blake Griffin just dunked on the church.

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The NBA superstar appeared on You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes this week, and as is custom on this podcast, the topic of faith and the meaning of life came up towards the end of the lengthy conversation.

Griffin said he grew up going to a non-denominational church that’s now a huge mega-church, and he understandably doesn’t know how to feel about that evolution.

Despite moving away from that foundation and questioning that model, he still retains a measure of faith.

“I still like the idea of believing in God,” he said. “If you don’t, fine. I like it. It gives me something bigger.”

Griffin then added more context to his faith journey. He went to a Christian high school where he attended weekly chapel, took bible courses and learned about other religions in order to refute them.

To explain where he’s at now, he then worked through a common line of thinking that dissuades many from the church these days.

Note: He was careful with his thoughts here and I transcribed as best as I could as he stopped and started along the way,

“My issue with Christianity is I just don’t understand how a religion that is following somebody who stood for these things … In the Bible, you know, Jesus would eat with the sinners, the prostitutes. And yet Christians believe, for instance, homosexuality is a sin. But then you can’t accept? I don’t get it. Why can this person who you’re supposed to be following do these things but you can’t?”

Great question, Blake.

Jesus was notoriously hanging out with those on the margins of society, and yet Christianity is sadly seen as a religion that makes in/out, us/them distinctions.

It doesn’t make any sense at all, and that disconnect is a big reason why Millennials in particular are running from the church.

As a side note, I had no idea Griffin is a stand up comic in the off season, making his chat with Pete even more interesting. Pete’s utter lack of basketball knowledge is also hilarious.

I listen to every YMIW, but this one’s got wide appeal and should be a stand out episode.

I’m officially more of a Griffin fan than I was a few hours ago.

Danny McBride’s relationship with the church is heartbreaking and familiar

The ever-hilarious Danny McBride has a new HBO show called The Righteous Gemstones in which he plays a prominent member of a “world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work.”

 

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McBride recently appeared on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and due to the nature of his new show, the topic of church was raised. I was surprised to learn McBride grew up going to church, but the story he told about his experience there was all too heartbreaking but not unfamiliar.

He told Dax he grew up going to a Baptist church and his parents were both really involved. His mom even did puppet ministry. And then life happened, and his family’s relationship with the church came to an unnecessary end:

We went hardcore. We were there all the time. My parents were so involved in it. And then my parents got divorced when I was in sixth grade and my dad kind of ran out on us. Suddenly, here’s my mom who works in a department store at the mall, she’s got two kids living in an apartment, and you’re thinking “maybe this church you donated all this time to will be supportive.” Instead, the people there turned their backs on her, shamed her for getting a divorce. I can remember seeing my mom and how much the church meant to her, and now she didn’t feel like she could enter the church.

He said his mom would take the kids back to church for a couple months after her husband left, but  their relationship with the church ended altogether shortly thereafter. And while McBride didn’t exactly love going at the time, he did feel a bit of an emptiness when that it was all over.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare occurrence. All too often, the church is a place of shame and judgement when we are at our lowest points instead of a loving and supportive refuge in times of trouble.

In my life, I’ve experienced the good that church can offer, there’s no doubt. Meals delivered to the house, visits and prayers in times of need, the development of lifelong friendships to name a few.

But I’ve always witnessed my fair share of what McBride detailed above – shunning those who didn’t live up to expectations and a complete lack of love when it was needed the most.

No church is perfect because it’s made up of imperfect human beings.

But you can never, ever go wrong with love.