Tired Of The Masquerade

The group Casting Crowns is a consistent favorite of mine. One of my favorites from the group is a song is called “Stained Glass Masquerade”. The title says it all. This song speaks powerfully to the all too human desire to be phony at church so that the others (who are also acting phony) will not think less of us. To have an impact in this culture we have to be genuine, real, authentic. Young men and women have a phony detector that is tuned to pick up the smallest deceit. I am tired of the phoniness. I am tired of the masks we wear. Just reading the lyrics will not give you the total power of this song but it will give you a taste. 

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they’ll soon discover
That I don’t belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them


Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who’s been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who’s traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

Wow. Thank you to “Casting Crowns” for writing and performing such an honest and transparent song. The message strikes straight to my heart. The body of Christ (the church) must be real to work as it was designed. It is up to you and to me to drop the stained glass masquerades and have the courage to be transparent. The Apostle John outlined a strategy that could go a long way to stopping the destructive masquerade.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. (1 John  4, NLT)

To love one another like John describes mean giving grace to others when they fall short and being willing to receive grace and quit covering up for your own weaknesses. Carly Simon sang “We Haven’t Got Time for the Pain” in 1974. Thirty-four-years later we haven’t got time for the pain of trying to be happy plastic people under shiny plastic steeples. I am committed to dropping the stained glass masquerades. Can you trust God and others with who you really are? Until you do it is just a sad and destructive masquerade.