Responsibility is a booger.
A youth shared with me that he “could teach anyone here a lot about religion,” but that he no longer considers himself a Christian.
Here’s the short version of his story about why he is now an “agnostic” (his term). He grew up going to church, and the church had trouble keeping a youth director – they went through 6 or so in just a couple of years. Then 2 years ago they hired one who is still there, but who alienated this young man from the church, and thus, from God.
For some it seems alienation is a evangelism tool, but I suppose any of us who have been in ministry for long can think of someone we have offended or alienated. Or at least someone who would accuse us of having done so.
Jesus isn’t just about being nice and friendly to people, though, right? And everyone is ultimately responsible and accountable to God for his or her own decisions, right? But then there is this, from ark 9:42 (NRSV:
‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
I don’t know the whole story; I have no doubt the youth minister in this youth’s story would tell a different version than I got the other night.
Hopefully, however, this illustration will at least give us pause to consider the responsibility we have as representatives of Jesus and the Good News.