"The Christians aren’t going to come here."
I did not overhear that outside of the Second City Mainstage or as we were passing by some late night Chicago hotspot. That was in the Field Museum. If I had to guess, this individual was referring to the section of this natural history museum named Evolving Planet. I should also note that this individual was not some intellectual with his thumb stuck in a work by Nietzche or a bio major wearing a Chuck Darwin shirt. He was, like, eleven.
Of course, he’s wrong. I’m sure if we took a poll in the Field Museum that day, there would be a half-decent number of people that were Christians. I suspect that wasn’t his pre-pubescent point. He was likely saying that Joe and Josephine Christian would get all red in the face if they went near the exhibit on evolution. But Joe Jr. would want to see the dinosaurs, so they’d drag him away kicking and screaming or just rush him through all the other stuff.
He’s partially wrong on that. There are plenty of Christians—Dr. Francis Collins whom is head of the National Institute of Health, Alister McGrath, and others—that would not have a problem with evolution as the means that God used to create life on earth.
But there’s some truth in his point too and that’s what I want to touch on briefly. I don’t necessarily want to talk about evolution and creationism at this point. But this kid’s comment got me thinking about this assumption that there are places that a Christian won’t go.
I realize he was a kid, but for anyone to have an idea that there is a realm from which Christians would be disconnected is really discouraging. At the root of that is the idea that a Christian is not going to engage or dialogue with someone that they do not see eye to eye. There are many proofs against that idea, but there is enough truth in it that it needs to be taken seriously. We can only blame media portrayals and the ever-increasingly polarizing nature of natural discourse for so much.
Christ went into all corners. He encountered people with which he agreed and disagreed. In both places, he saw women and men that he loved. Part of incarnation is entering into a world that is not your own. We must not have realms—whether it be science, art, architecture, or underwater basket weaving—where others say, “The Christians aren’t going to go there.”
That disconnect hurts you, me, the cause of Christ, and that eleven year-old boy. We need to do a better job loving and listening wherever we go.