Life: It’s Complicated.

Posted on January 11, 2012 by


“Religion leaves no room for human complexity”- Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter

I try not to keep up with pop culture. I usually could care less what a movie star has to say about much of anything.  But this weekend Harry Potter himself was on the front of a Parade magazine inserted in the Sunday paper and my three older daughters, Potter’ fans them all, were compelled to read the interview  tucked within the pages. And one of them shared the above quote with me along with her observation that the young star has a point. Religion quite often leaves no room for human complexity.

As our conversation unfolded we concluded that the Christian faith actually leaves plenty of room for human complexity. It’s the legalistic attempts to make simple a human experience that is anything but the source of the problem. Complications are a part of life, as are trial, mistakes, and seasons. It’s our tendency to insist that our way of doing and being is the only way of doing and being that leaves no room for human complexity.

Complications are a part of life, as are trial, mistakes, and seasons. Pat answers and graceless dogmatism are easy to come by in some Christian circles. I am quite often guilty of that myself. We like being able to say, “If you do A, you get result B”; “When X happens, you respond with Y-always.” But life isn’t like that. Sometimes you can do everything right and life still sucks. Some people do everything wrong and appear to have the Midas touch. The Bible acknowledges this truth. David often questioned why the evil seemed to prosper while the righteous struggled and suffered.

In other words, bad religion ignores human complexity. True Christianity leaves plenty of room for human complexity. It simply asks that we live out our complexities in a moral and upright way.

Posted in: Religion