Let’s face it: in this day and age, Christians don’t have the greatest reputation. Christians are known as being judgmental, hypocritical, bigoted…the list goes on. Sadly, this reputation is often warranted. In many cases, Christians today tend to hate the very people they are called to love.
As a result, many people who were raised in the church have walked away, and now the mere mention of the Bible leaves a bitter taste in their mouth. Other people have no interest in hearing about God in the first place because Christians have set such a bad example of what it means to follow Christ.
I’ve been there. Growing up, I was about as churched as you can get. My family went to church every Sunday. I went to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School as a kid, then went on to teach these classes when I got older. I went to private Christian schools grades K-12. I memorized verses and studied systematic theology; I knew the stories of the Bible backwards and forwards. I even attended a Christian college where the Christian worldview was engrained in every class, no matter the subject.
As a young child, I was simply swept along with what everyone else said and did. I didn’t start to think critically for myself until middle school and high school. That’s when I started to look around and notice that what people said often didn’t line up with what they did. I began to pay attention to the various problems and contradictions with what I was being taught. I started doubting the truth of the Bible and began viewing it as a piece of literature, nothing more. I was so sick of being in church and didn’t want to hear another word about God. Outwardly, I still went through all the motions and said all the right things, but inwardly, I was done.
I won’t get into all the details of my story right now, but [spoiler alert] I did end up forming a real personal relationship with God. However, this relationship has had a lot of ups and downs, and I still experience plenty of doubts and confusion. There are a lot of things I’m still trying to figure out.
I’ve also witnessed the faults of the church firsthand, so I understand how difficult it is to move past some of the lessons that have been engrained in your mind. In many ways, I think it would be easier to start from square one than to heal old scars, just like it’s easier to teach a blank slate than to fix bad habits.
The purpose of this blog is to clear up some common misconceptions about the church, as well as to address some of the things the church has gotten wrong. I won’t sugar coat or try to excuse away anything. I want to have an honest, upfront conversation to straighten out the various mixed-up views about and within the church.
So, if you have issues with the concepts of God, the Bible, or the Christian church due to negative experiences in the past, come join in the conversation. I will do my best to tackle some of these big issues and address my own experiences growing up in the church, but please feel free to comment, ask questions, or share your own story. I would love to hear from you.