Breathe has been called a number of things in its extremely short lifetime. Honestly, nobody’s called it anything negative to my face, but I have heard from people I trust that some not-so-positive descriptors have been thrown around to describe our ubiquitous group.
I would like to address two of them. Admittedly, this is more for me than those who said these things; they likely don’t read my blog.
A Group of Disgruntled Punks*
A lifetime-church-goer used this phrase to describe us when hearing an off-handed, relatively casual, but accurate comment about Breathe. He/she was bothered that a group of angry, bitter, hurt individuals were all congregating together to complain about church. The individual couldn’t understand why the group felt this way; he/she had attended church his/her whole life and loved it. His/her church community had helped him/her get through difficult struggles and some of his/her fondest memories and relationships were forged in church. Surely no one should have a problem with church, he/she thought.
I understand this individual’s train of thought. A lifetime-church-goer myself, I have been blessed with many relationships and support that I wouldn’t have had access to were it not for an organized community of believers. And, honestly, I haven’t really been burned by the church too much myself – I’ve only been mildly condemned and judged, though I have felt largely ignored.
But I’m not sure that our experience is the norm. There are an incredible number of individuals who have been hurt, either through a perceived or actual hurt (I’m not sure there’s really a difference there). They have no interest at all in returning to a group who treated them so poorly – and who can blame them really?
What if a group existed to provide all the love, support and community that the name-caller and I have experienced to those who are without it because of a fear of/hatred for/repulsion by/indifference to church? What if that community did more than sit around and moan about the problems in church (even though that does happen – we are indeed disgruntled), but also started moving in the direction of becoming like Jesus? What if that community transformed into a church in the traditional (like first century “traditional”) sense? What if that group helped move the church forward with its unique, albeit damaged perspective?
That’s the plan for this “disgruntled” band of ours. We’ll see if we get there. Just know that our desire is to be more – much more – than just pissed off punks.
*Ok, the way I heard it, it wasn’t “punks.” But that makes for a much more dramatic subhead. And I believe that it was the spirit of what was said.
Any names you’ve heard or wanted to call us? Leave them in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk