A few years ago, I had a leader pose this question as an ice breaker for our leadership team. Yeah, I was surprised too. What’s your name, how old are you and do you fold, crunch or wrap your toilet paper? I guess that covers just about everything.
Once our surprise and chagrin passed, there was actually dialog. You got it-we talked about our preferred method of toilet paper etiquette and that progressed into why and sundry other bunny trails.
The other day, thanks to a random flashback, I found myself revisiting that conversation, and, as is all too often the case, the Holy Spirit made a clever warp drive leap to a word picture.
Denominations are like toilet paper etiquette.
Yes, you read that right. Think about it. Regardless of the church you attend, the focus is on getting clean and getting prepared to go back out. Whether you fold, wrap or crunch (although, why anyone feels that is effective…just kidding) your toilet paper, at the end of the gig, the end goal is to get cleaned up and prepared to go back out. It all comes down to preference.
Most of us have reasoning behind why we attend where we attend or why we affiliate where we affiliate or however you want to say it. But for the most part, we believe the same things. Jesus, son of God, born of a virgin, fully man, fully God, died to pay the price for our sin, rose again to finish the work and is the only source of restoration for the relationship of God and man forever more. That’s the toilet paper.
How that message is presented or recognized-how it functions, etc, really boils down to taste. The cool thing is-I’ve personally experienced awesome Churches that span the denominational gauntlet and I’ve seen God in those places, regardless of what ever Frist <fill in the blank> Church is displayed on their marquee…if they even have one.
So what if I fold and you roll. The job is getting done.
Maybe I raise my hands in worship, maybe you reflect quietly. Maybe you have lights swirling around and maybe I’m content with a clean, calm set. Maybe you stand and kneel and connect to those who have gone before through prayers and affirmations that have been passed down while I freestyle and paraphrase the psalms.
It’s still worship, either way.
So, why are we judging each other? Why are we letting something as little as fold v. crunch separate us? I mean, you wouldn’t judge your friend because they roll their TP and you don’t, right? (If you would…well, that’s a little sad). We’ve bought into a lie that says my way or the highway, when I’m pretty sure God is the one who makes the fair or foul call on what is the narrow way and what isn’t.
Now, there is something to be said for the quality of the TP used (we’ve all been in the public restroom that have replaced the roll with the tissue squares that just don’t cut it). Looking back at the list above, if one of those keys is missing, chances are you’re going to end up in a messy situation.
I’m just saying; let’s do our best not to confuse the aesthetics of a thing with the function of it.
So, if you are a roller, roll on.
If you’re a dancer, dance on.
If you’re a cruncher, crunch on.
If you’re a contemplator, contemplate your little heart out!
And we can all rejoice that we use toilet paper/are in a God glorifying community, as can those around us.
Do you roll, fold or crunch?
Do you have any denominational prejudice? What can we do to break free of being more concerned with a camp line that going after the people who have no camp?