If I had a bucket list, then I can finally cross off yet another entry on my enumeration of must do’s before I die.
Ever since I got into the art of “magic” and illusions, and ever since I moved up the ranks from doing cheesy pea-under-the-walnut boxed tricks to being an actual student of sleight of hand, it has always been one of my life’s desires to visit the illustrious Magic Castle. And, after last night’s romp around the coveted magician’s lair (thanks to Lesteezee…my long time friend, best man, wrestling nemesis, and, well, fellow conjurer), my fascination with the art has bumped up a notch. As a matter of fact, if not for the way-outta-my-range annual membership fees, I’d actually consider fashioning up a five minute routine (one of the requirements by the way) to astound the board in hopes of becoming a constituent of this spell bounding association.
In short, I’m still giddy with excitement from the experience that “Hogwarts” gave me last night. And, if you ever get a chance to be invited to the exclusive club, then I’d highly recommend you jump at the chance to rub elbows with the world’s finest in magic and illusions.
The food, incidentally, was exquisite.
Interesting enough, however, I couldn’t help but think about the seemingly exclusive nature of most churches across America. I know we don’t like to admit such exclusivity, but, let’s face it, our stereotypes and prejudices towards those who aren’t like us have a way of dictating the unspoken boundaries we set on people outside the walls of our “church bubble”. Don’t get me wrong, “church” has come a long way in regards to how we embrace the world around us, but there still seems to be a slight case of filling a criteria as to who we choose to embrace and who we choose to turn a blinds eye to.
One of the groups of people who always seems to be the hot topic of discussion regarding entry into our religious institutions are the homeless population. Whether they’re hungover or unkept, their presence seems to always cause a disturbance in our leadership. On the surface, we say we welcome everyone, but perform sleight of hand to appease the overall body. We’ll welcome homeless people to our churches, but only to an alternative Bible study or to a Wednesday evening when we’re passing out food. If church is supposed to be about a large community of people worshipping and following God, then why do we create a sub-category for those who don’t have a postal address to their names?
I wonder what the early church would say knowing their successors would allow disturbances to dictate how they conduct church life. God forbid that the Holy Spirit would come down and turn their world upside-down…oh wait a minute…
How about you?
Whether it be a homeless person or a drunk gangster, what are some examples of stereotypes you’ve experienced in church and how could we move closer towards a more truly inclusive reality?