Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I don’t like the 2 word story campaign. I think it reflects one of the major problems I have with the modern Christian church, and that is: I think we have it wrong, and I think we’ve had it wrong for such a long time that the majority of people honestly believe we’re purely honoring God. Something I’ve recently begun to understand it that I don’t have anything to prove, and I’m not trying to sell anything. That is the first mistake we have made as Christians.

Throughout this blog post, I’m going to bash on the 2 word story campaign, but my thoughts and opinions go far beyond this one particular idea. It just happens to be the most current concept for my cynical mind to dissect. Sorry I’m not sorry.

First of all, the 2 word story encourages people to believe that life is black and white. If I have learned anything over the past few years, it is that this is far from the truth. We live in the shades of gray, and God dwells with us there. Perhaps God is black and white, but we as humans are not. Maybe we haven’t figured out how to live in black in white or maybe we weren’t created to do so; I don’t know. Either way, it’s not true no matter how many rules we attempt to live by or labels we use.

The 2 word story falsely tells people that once you encounter God, (I say ‘encounter’ here instead of ‘believe in’ because God is a being, not an idea) a basic idea to the human condition is all of a sudden transformed. Life is a journey and we are constantly forced to grow- closer to or further away from God. Once you encounter God, things are not all rainbows and butterflies. I think that if we, as the church, were all more truthful about this, then it would free so many people from the overwhelming sense of failure. God is always present and transforming us, but it isn’t all cute and clean.

While we were discussing the 2 word story at work the other day someone said that their two words for their spiritual journey were ‘Hard and Harder’, and the room fell silent. I know this doesn’t make sense to the basic idea of the campaign, but if you look past that you will see the pain that this movement has caused. If someone isn’t willing to just choose a word that reflects something they struggle with in their faith and pretend it’s all fine and dandy and if someone is willing to be truthful about her pain, then she is ostracized and made to feel as if she had done something wrong.

The 2 word story is a great advertising campaign, but for what? For God? The church? Christianity? I don’t think we need to advertise for God, I don’t want to advertise for a lot of the churches I’ve been to, and so many people (including me) have given the title of Christian a bad reputation that I’m not sure anyone would want to listen to us.
What I’m saying is that I’m not trying to sell anything because I don’t think that’s honoring to God. The truth of our stories, the truth of who we are, and the truth of where we are is what is honoring to God.


  1. As I read... and re-read your post I found myself nodding in agreement and resonating deeply especially with your final few lines. This desire - for an authentic faith and life to be lived out with a God who is not afraid of the great joys and messes our lives can be but actually joins us in the here and now- is not only the cry of many, but also what we see in the words and stories we hold so dear.

    Through the controversy that I have walked through recently after the pastor of the community I serve at released a book and after reading your post I felt there is a thread connecting the two worth sharing...

    After the book was released, I immediately had thoughts of grace entering my head. At first I thought that's what I needed yet after a few weeks of extremely hard and hurtful conversations, I realized that it was grace that was needed for those around me.

    It seemed as if I was confronted to remember that grace is some thing we can only experience when we give it away, for we forget the cost of it when it is given to us. Passages such as 1 John 2:3-11, 1 Corinthians 3, Ephesians 4 have touched me deeply since. Of unity and love, this is what this Christ called us into - to pursue that even when it hurts, it frustrates, and everything in us says no. God says yes, even 'those people' deserve it.

    With all that said, your words are the prophet voice that the Church and the world needs to hear. Thank you for sharing and reminding me that I am not alone.

    Grace and Peace.

  2. I'm still reading...and I love you.