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HomeMy Kid & ReligionMy Kid & Religion: Part 3 - Modern Christianity

My Kid & Religion: Part 3 – Modern Christianity

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This is the third post in a series on My Kid & Religion

What do you think of when you hear the word, Christian? Some of the things that come to mind might include the street preacher downtown with the blow horn that everyone walks past. Why is he doing that? Has anyone really heard that and wanted anything to happen other than find a way to avoid the noise? The judgmental old person on your block who thinks everything fun you do is wrong and tells you about it. Does that person really think you care what they have to say? Maybe you think of the homophobic preacher who says gays will ruin America. All the while he/she is neglecting the fact that the church they run just spent more money on a new sound system than the church has ever given to the local homeless shelter or food pantry.

I disagree with almost everything modern conservative Christianity has become. I’m obviously not saying all Christians. I’m referring to the ones that are the loudest, who get the most TV time, those that use the Bible in politics (and elsewhere) to beat people they disagree with over the head with condemnation, judgment, and hatred. This version of Christianity (broadcast to the world via social media and “news” outlets) seems to be no more than a selfish social club for those who follow the rules. If you want to join and be truly accepted the rules generally state you have to:

  • Vote Republican
    (Because Jesus was one!)
  • Listen to only “Christian” music
    (Because the Christian art world knows nothing of mediocrity)
  • Oppose social safety nets.
    (Because those people on unemployment are just lazy bums!)
  • Think Jesus was a capitalist.
    (Because there is no way Jesus would support the greater societal good!)
  • Think God hates anyone who isn’t “straight.”
    (Because if you follow the Bible you shouldn’t get divorced either, but no one seems to care about that in church.)
  • Call yourself “pro-life” but support policies of death.
    (Things like war, denying healthcare to those who can’t afford it, taking food and educational opportunities away from children who are our future, and the death penalty.)

I don’t know if I believe in God. I like the idea of a loving creator but can’t reconcile the existence of one with all of the pain in this world. I know I don’t believe that the Bible is without error, but I do think it has some good “moral of the story” type passages that can be learned from. It also has some really terrible examples of the evils that exist in the world. Some of those same types of evils are being committed today in the name of “God.” I don’t know how I can justify exposing my kid to that. I’m open to attending a church with my family. I’m very apprehensive about it too. I have a lot of anger towards The Church as a whole and don’t know how to get rid of it. Many of the things that cause that anger are a regular occurrence in Sunday morning services across America.

I think there are Christians out there who believe like I do. There are people who love Jesus and think equal rights should be given to people because they are people and not because they have somehow earned it. How people vote or who they chose to love doesn’t matter. There are Christians who promote the social good over the personal pocketbook. There are Christians who want nothing more than to see people feel loved, and accepted and to become better versions of themselves. Right?

In my experience, those types of Christians are much harder to find. Is it because there are less of them? Or is it because they follow 1 Thessalonians 4:11: “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.” (NLT)  If I’m going to take my son to a church it has to be one that includes people, not separates them. I’m not sure that such a church exists near me.

What do you think? Are there non-judgmental Christians out there? Can one believe in God and not accept the fact that they have encouraged evil into this world in order to set up the game for all to fail? Let me know in the comments and on social. 

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a Christian and dislike most everything you write about. It makes me sad for our faith community, but I have a small loving church that cares about people and our community and it feels like home. I don’t always agree with everyone in it but that doesn’t matter to me because we always love. I hope you find a community that supports your faith to help you grow in it.

  2. I find myself nodding along in agreement here.

    I well understand how difficult it is to find that elusive church. Perhaps because we’re in Canada, it’s a little easier. It seems even our “worst” churches are still better than ones we hear about in parts of the US.

    I honestly hope that if you can’t find a church, that you do find a community that can be church for you and your family. Maybe there’s a home church just below your radar that fits what you’re looking for. Or maybe there are a few others in the same or similar position as you, right nearby.

    Often, the timing works out that you find what you need, or it finds you, when you’re ready or need it most.

  3. The lights that God has hung in your heart won’t easily be extinguished! You have been deeply wounded by religion. Religion is one of the most,if not the most, deadliest bondages in the world. The air of religion is self righteousness. Pride is at its core. Religion put Christ on the cross. There are a lot of churches that would do the work of God a favor by shutting their doors. Religion almost destroyed me! But by the Grace of God as I was starring at my own pitiful reflection in a mirror, high on drugs and alcohol I once again gave my heart to Christ and he cleansed me from my sin . From that day in 2006 until now I have been trusting Him to be my righteousness instead of my own. I appreciate your honesty but when I read your writing I see a man who is torn. I know you have experienced Gods love and peace before but you have also been the victim of man’s judgment. What is man? Instead of trying to figure all this out by yourself I challenge you to once again truly seek the Lord and ask him to reveal himself to you. God isn’t religious! He’s love! And that love is ensconced in holiness and righteousness and purity. I hope I didn’t anger you or offend you in any way. I can relate to you and would love to sit down over coffee sometime and share more and listen more to what you have to say.

  4. It’s a shame that the loudest Christians are often the most judgmental ones. I’ve met many who are more loving, accepting and forgiving than those you described and choose to let those people define my view of Christianity. I know they’re not perfect but I do enjoy their positive outlook and hope you can find some people like that in your circles as well. A positive vibe is always better to surround yourself with than a critical one.

  5. I want to touch on one thing you said before I continue with my thoughts on the general idea of the piece. You said “I don’t know if I believe in God. I like the idea of a loving creator, but can’t reconcile the existence of one with all of the pain in this world.” – A good thought I might add. Since the beginning (talking the apple and expulsion from paradise) man has been fallible. How many times in the OT did God try to show wrath in order to regain faithful obedience? Did it work? So He decides to take human form (as I believe in the 3-n-1 concept) to have a human experience, suffer sorrow, hurt, pain, fear, to show He understands these things. Could God prevent it all? Yes. Why doesn’t He? That’s not part of the ultimate plan. The promise of love we are given is the glory of our lives after death.

    Now, to the main comment: I cautiously call myself a Christian. Religion, all religion, has become so politicized in the modern day. These ideals of love, acceptance, compassion, are soiled by outside influence. Same as how politics are soiled by religion. I believe in God. I believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. What am I? I am a believer in a God that has shown mercy on my horrible ways so that I may reflect that in compassion and mercy for others, no matter what.

    I believe the ultimate goal as a Christian is to reflect a love that knows no boundaries, no limits, no “earned” potential.

    But alas, those of us like you and me that believe these things are in a slipping minority these days.

  6. Great post. I agree with much of what you said because it highlights the negative stereotypes of modern Christians. I hope that we are marked by love rather than the points you have made.

    Finding a church home where you completely feel at home is difficult, but worth the work. I find that many Christians are loving and open to others despite their brokenness. These are the folks that I seek out.

    Christians who do not agree with the rhetoric are those who usually do not preach or shout their ideas. We are quiet, hardworking and listeners. Probably not the best evangelical strategy, but then again church is not about selling our ideas.

    Keep to the journey.

  7. Can you please just leave God, Jesus Christ, Gods word, and Gods people out of your series as it has nothing to do with any of us but just what you have subjectively conjured up in your own mind (The idolatry of making God into your own image) as you embrace and promote the lie in satanically deceived unbelief (“Has God said…”You will not die….”You will be like God….”Knowing…) and as you actually stand in “judgement” of God, His Son, His word, and His people and thus guilty of the very thing that you yourself are accusing others of. Hmmm…Nothing new about that and all of what Jesus Christ laid down His life on the cross to save us from and rose again from the dead historically to prove it!

  8. Christianity is only one of many religions on earth and the Bible is flawed and full of contradictions to any reasonable analysis. The solution then is to assume a higher power is driving it all. The Most-High GOD as generator, operator, destroyer – the supreme force in the universe…ergo theofatalism…you could look it up..thanks..Lewis Tagliaferre

  9. Dear Joel, I love that you point out that “faith without works is dead”. What is sad is that you are giving your children yourself as God and never let them met Him or deside for themselves what He thinks. How about letting them learn about Him in the Gospels Mark, Matthew exclude chp 1, Luke and John. Read about 10- verses on Sunday, while you are there to guide them, the letters in Red in the New Living Bible are easy to understand. Jesus claims He is God in John 14 the 1st commandment in Exodus 20, and promise of a Messiah in Isaiah 53. Jeremiah 29:11, God has plans for their lives. Love and hugs Merc

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