100 years ago, claiming to be a Christian was nothing weird. People understood because most had at least some affiliation with the church. No one would challenge you because they’d know where you are coming from. People got you, and the crowd was with you.
Today, Christians get a glimpse of persecution. You’ll feel the pressure when you raise your voice against gay marriage or express your loyalty to Israel. People will react in anger and project their frustration about their experiences onto you and your faith.
Many of your opponents will focus on debunking Christianity. They accept a Muslim’s outrage after an insult hit their prophet. They push aside the murder, rape, and hatred in the name of Hiduism. Avoid humanities worthlessness as stated by Atheism. But they will claim that the God of the Bible is a merciless warlord.
Christianity is an easy target because it allows us to challenge it. We can research everything the Bible claims and nothing is off limits. One can claim religion’s dead in a Christian society, but try to do the same in Iran or Saudi Arabia.
In the western world, the most common thing associated with religion is Christianity. We don’t hate it for the doctrine but for how we see it play out in our lives. Bad experiences create bad memories and memories are what we base our decisions on.
Proving our convictions
Unfortunately, we all have memories that skew reality. Our personal experience is often not the complete picture. But we are aware of our flawed thinking patterns. That’s why psychologists and therapists are so popular today.
Yet In religious matters, we cope with the pain through reason. We use our bad experiences with Christianity and declare religion as unscientific.
We don’t look for grand arguments. We don’t need to seek the whole truth. All we need is justification for what we already decided to be true.
Simple arguments that seem logical on the surface give us the confidence to close the book on this topic. The less we pursue a subject, the easier it is to be convinced of absolutes.
So we declare God as being non-existent or indifferent at best. “Just look at all this suffering in the world today. A loving God would never allow this to happen”.
Seems legit? Let’s take a look at the freedom God gave humanity. How can one be free to choose good if one is not allowed to choose evil?
Real freedom includes the ability to choose to do the wrong thing. Without the capacity to choose war, murder, and hatred, humanity would never be able to fight for peace, life and love.
We also would not be able to choose or reject God. We can only reject him because he gave us the ability to do so.
Humanities fiber and structure
Logic is bliss and maths and physics are the drivers of success in the 21st century. Our technologies and innovations are at the lowest level nothing but logical declarations.
We had so much success that we think deductive thinking is effortless. After all, the sciences have covered every field of our modern world. We don’t realize that our success has made us blind to the vastness of the unknowns in our lives.
The little we know gives us the confidence to judge the unknown. That’s why it is so easy for us to reject religion. It is the easy way out because if we can deem something to be wrong, there is no reason for exploring it deeper.
If we’d admit that there is truth in Christianity, we couldn’t toss it to the sidelines. The implication would be too huge to ignore.
Confronting the pain
Even if our mind wants to believe, we can’t ignore the hurt, grief and anger we experienced through Christianity. It is a real reason for many to reject Christ.
Most of the people who not only refuse, but hate the Christian faith have a background in it. We activate our filters and project our pain on the Christian belief. They don’t search for where the faith was abused but reject the complete system.
But we can’t blame them. The church has taken the supernatural out of the Bible. We only preach to love our neighbor, but we ignore that Jesus healed the sick and set the captives free. We don’t talk and hardly believe in angels and demons and heaven and hell.
We boiled down prayer to a liturgy. We replaced the cry for broken souls and the healing of nations with repetition while mulling over the grocery list. The passion has died with the truth. It seems that Christ left the church a long time ago.
Without our Savior, what do we have left in Christianity? Empty words and people who build a controllable system. Organized religion with dazzling buildings but with empty seats.
The era of control is over. Social pressure to join a church evaporated and pastors ask themselves what went wrong. The answer is that we ceased to preach the full gospel a long time ago. The only way to get people back is to introduce to them who Jesus was 2000 years ago and still is today.
Raw and unfiltered.
If the church were the bride God called her to be, people wouldn’t have to make up some scientific fluff to justify the rejection of religion.
People go off of what they see. The church is supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are meant to represent him in this world.
But what do we do? The same lies blind us as those who argue against Christianity. We rationalize our calling, put in the least amount of effort and get comfortable where we are.
People know that the Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t fulfill her calling. The church is what people grew up in, and they are well aware of what they walked away from.
But there is hope. People check back on what makes them angry. They are not indifferent. They will come back once in a while, just to see what’s up. To see if they are still right.
What will they see?