Monday, January 19, 2009

Trust Fund Babies

I was reading an online discussion the other day about converts; about how they tend to inspire a mixture annoyance and envy among "lifers." One of the discussion participants likened those of us who were baptized into our faith, who absorbed it via the osmosis of growing up in a faith community, as the religious equivalent of trust fund babies, or the boss' kid, or the legacy student. We take a lot for granted that converts do not; it's hard for us not to succumb to the complacency of cheap grace.

So what's a trust fund baby to do, do you think?


Evelyn said...

Ah, it takes all of us to make up the body of Christ! What's a trust fund baby to do? Share the many gifts of growing up in the faith, and really listen and learn from the newbies in the faith!

Rev Scott said...

What a great point to make, LC - haven't we all seen the movies where either the stuffy, old-money folks are jerks, or the nouveau riche are Rodney Dangerfield types or worse? Truth is we're sometimes just that bad, but more often all of us are in the middle.

My mentor said that every challenge was a teaching moment for the church. That's definitely the way I'm looking at things these days!

Mary Sue said...

What's a trust fund baby to do?

Give thanks to God every day that their family has blessed them with such riches.

Tom in Ontario said...

I'm preaching this Sunday (gospel reading about Jesus calling the fishermen to follow) about the difference between membership and discipleship. I think the problem with a lot of the "trust fund babies" is that they're members but not disciples. Those who have had a radical conversion experience tend more to the discipleship side of things. I think they heard the "call" more loud and clear than we who grew up in the faith.

southernbooklover said...

Q: What's a trust fund baby to do?

A: Welcome the newbies and visitors with open, non-judging arms. We are all seekers, just at different steps along the way.

Not being lucky enough to be a trust fund baby in terms of church attendance/membership but certainly a lifer Christian, I struggle w/ churches because the sign out front says "all are welcome" but the invisible signs inside say "go away." And this has nothing to do with being gay. That hurts.

Beth said...

I'm a convert and the biggest GIFT I've noticed in 'trust fund babies' is their ability to 'take for granted' the gift of grace. I do not assume that this ability cheapens grace itself, though I recognize that it does for some folks. In fact, I sometimes feel jealous about their ability to simply accept God's grace, without living in constant self-flagellation over the sin that abounds in themselves. OTOH, it does sadden me when life-long Christians get self-righteous, which is an inherent danger in taking grace for granted. (Does that even make sense?)

What saddens me is how little passion for proclamation seems to exist in the people who have always known about God's grace! Most of them, in my experience, seem to assume that everyone already knows, therefore, there is no need to evangelize!

Mrs. M said...

This is such an interesting question to me, because I've been in churches where it was important to be a cradle ___________, and I've been in churches where they didn't believe that you were anything until there was a transformative moment when you were old enough for it to be your decision.