Museum Christians

I had a major revelation while walking through our local aviation museum this afternoon. They had some really cool bi-planes hanging from the ceiling and lots of neat floor displays, but around every one was a “Please do not touch” sign. I couldn’t help but think of the amazing juxtaposition of what it must have been like for one of those early pilots in a bi-plane compared to me standing in a museum learning about what they did.

They had wind in their face! They were sailing up and down on wind currents with the roar of an engine and blasts of wind in their face! They could float above the treetops or even crash if they weren’t careful.

How unlike my experience of flight visiting a very, very quiet museum. For them everything was tactile; for me nothing was… “Please do not touch” said it all.

And that is exactly how it is for you and me when it comes to God.

Some of us are living it! We’ve got the wind in our face, and some of us are just watching what others have done or are doing. We have no experience, we’re content to read about what others have lived out. We read our bible, we have our favorite Christian books and teachers, we show up to church and listen to what others have done and experienced. We’re museum Christians; we look, but we don’t touch.

How incomprehensibly sad it is!

If God is a living God (and He is) then there should be an EXPERIENCE! There should be wind in our face, and some movement, and some blowing around and sound. How dare we say this dead thing we call being a Christian is the same as really being one.

I couldn’t help but leave that museum thinking of all the wild rides I’ve had with God throughout my life! And how absolutely dead I’ve also been at various times while also claiming to be a Christian. The scary thing is, we can get so good at pretending that we believe the lie ourselves. Because we haven’t actually denied Christ and walked away from Him, we think everything’s fine. We’re still breathing, true, but that’s about it. We’ll show up at the museum and feign an interest, maybe even truly be interested, but when it comes to actually getting in the bi-plane and going for a real ride, well you know, we wouldn’t want to mess up our hair or teeter around among the clouds. It’s enough to know others have gone before us and have done the scary stuff; never mind the fact that by only visiting the museum you might also miss out on the really exciting stuff too!

Is this what the bible’s talking about when we read about being lukewarm and complacent? I kind of think so.

“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” -Rev 3:1

Lots of people go to the museum. In fact, so many of us are museum Christians that we think that being one is normal. We do all the things that we see other Christians doing. To all appearances others might even think we’re on fire for God! What a reputation we have! We can go on fooling ourselves, but God knows the truth. You and I cannot live vicariously when it comes to God, getting things secondhand through someone else. There’s a huge difference between walking around an aviation museum and being up in the bi-plane. God knows you don’t come around much to spend time with Him, He’s not being fooled! Our bible sits on the shelf, our life is filled with so many things… Who has the time to actually get alone with God on a regular basis and pray? And when we do pray,who enters prayer so that they may enjoy God, and not just ask for things?

God Himself is what we need, but so often we are so out of touch we have no idea that’s the case.

For me, visiting that museum really put things into perspective. Is my spiritual life more alive or dead? Is it more like a museum or real life? Is it about being quiet, and not touching things, and being a spectator; or am I out there in my relationship with God living life to it’s fullest?