Christian Church / Christianity / Education / Ethics / Faith / Rant / Religion

Christianity Today

Scared of the Questions. Terrified of the grey. Hostile toward the difference. Worried about the commonality. Hell bent on the answers. Refusing to feel doubt. Blind to contradictions. Eager to condemn. Stuck in the same verses. Hearing the same messages. Smeared with politics. Worshiping tradition. Forsaking the least. Afraid to step out of line. Drowning in it’s own cultures. Unwilling to hear from others. Threatened by the ‘other.” And utterly, completely, and totally convinced that this is right.

People are asking why Christianity is losing influence in society today. Why aren’t young people sticking around? Why don’t people attend church? Why don’t people tithe? Normally I raise the questions and bask in the effort to answer them, but today I feel like answering outright. I’ll tell you what I think. I think people are leaving the church because the “world” is more Christ-like than the church. I think that people don’t tithe because churches aren’t helping people like they used to. I think kids don’t stick around because they aren’t given honest answers to questions and are fed false and highly limited answers when they get them. I think people see a more consistent moral ethic outside of the church. I think people are tired of gossip. I think people are tired of hearing the same verses taught in the same way. I think people want their faith to be challenged.

As for those still there who say they have child-like faith to dismiss the questions: I think they’re scared. I think Christians who won’t ask questions and tolerate only answers are scared. They don’t want to test their beliefs, because they might not hold up. They don’t want to ask questions because they might be problematic. They don’t want to hear anything new and challenging just in case it pushes them away from how they’ve always seen God. But if God is truth, we’ve nothing to fear while asking questions. I’ve been there. I’ve been scared. I spent my freshman year studying theology terrified to see in another faith what I felt in mine, because I was worried that I might doubt. But to me now, doubting is asking in faith… I ask in the faith that my God will be up to answering, and that my faith will be proved true.

I remember sitting in some of those classes and thinking I knew nothing of God before I saw God in the eyes of unbelievers, and it’s very true. I had to be open to allowing these things in faith that what I have in my relationship is stronger than the questions. That what is really true will stick around.

So ask some questions. Dive in and study. And for God’s sake please be honest with your kids!

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12 thoughts on “Christianity Today

  1. I’m not sure if you’ll take this as a compliment or not given that my beliefs are very different to yours; but that was a brilliant post and you have my respect.

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  2. Amen! Do we want religion? Tradition? Or Truth? Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…” So if He is the Truth, we shouldn’t be afraid to seek the Truth, should we? Thanks for this post – it gives me much to think about.

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  3. I recently resigned from a church of 10,000 people and working with their youth I can tell you that hiding from the hard questions is exactly the problem we are facing. Whether it is avoiding the hard emotional relationship conversations or the hard theological questions, kids see right through the BS.

    I really liked your post and as someone with and MDiv a lot of doctoral hours and a desire to help Christianity grow in the areas you talked about I would love to engage some of the issues with you! – Andrew B. Heard

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    • Yes, they do. I don’t know why people think that kids are stupid. I know we sometimes use “child-like” faith as a way of saying we should just accept things, but what kid does that? They are always asking questions. They are always amazingly perceptive.

      Well, I do love this stuff. I’m a bit behind you education wise though. I’ll take any opportunity to talk about Christianity and religion.

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      • Seminary can screw you up more than it can help you sometimes so don’t worry about the education. Here is how I think about a child like faith. We apply it to all sorts of things that it isn’t meant to be applied to. We trust our God like a chidl on the things he promised. We trust him like a loving father when it comes to eternal life, or forgiveness, but noton specific healings for certain people. Or random stuff like how the dinosuars fit into Genesis, they don’t need to have child like faith to engage that question. They just need to know that Genesis one was a Hebrew him that address Babylonian theology and tells us things about God’s character and creation. (ie that he brings order and sees humanity as special and representing him). When people say that you just have to have faith that it was 7 days and the dinosaurs were in the garden of eden I want to punch myself in the face.

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        • Haha. I know I studied theology for my bachelor’s and I went back to church and nothing was the same. But in a good way, I mean I’m sad and angry now, but I’m awake. I’m cognizant.
          Mm. I definitely agree that pretty often they’re missing the forest for the trees.

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  4. Regardless of what else we may or may not agree on. I agree on this! God says to ask, he says to challenge him, I’ve had great debates (and just listened to others) or philosophy , theology and sometimes it’s just ok to disagree.

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