“Choking Them On The Way”

thestarrynightnochurchAnd so we continue with my New Dawn Narrative interviews.  Question #4: What is your view of modern Christians/ Christianity? (Explain if you have ever been hurt or discouraged by the church/ Christianity)

READ their stories and then maybe you have one to share!

RESPONSE 1: There are some REALLY good Christians out there. There are alot more that don’t actually care, push “goodness and mercy” down ppls throat choking them on the way, and hypocrites that do the worst damage. I’ve seen and gone through my fair share, A dad who was always working, a near divorce between my parents, some depression, struggle with self image, depression and self harm of people close to me,. My mother being a cause of self image problems in yet ironically being her support while dealing with an unstable marriage, all around the ages of 12-16, caused even more problems, insecurity, stress of feeling like since I held my mom together which held my parents marriage together held our family together. I tried for years to not be angry at God, but after a while kinda gave up, I wasn’t angry but since he wasn’t helping me I wasn’t going to depend on him and in a way I haven’t changed that much. I searched for God a few times, and found some good but it was little compared to the tidal wave of my life. My baptist youth pastor helped with some religious questions and in restoring at least some trust in someone above the age of 20. He was the only one above 20 who knew at least a taste of how I felt and did much in making me feel like someone cared, besides just my friends. My year at a Baptist College helped me understand some things, but I’m still not sure I like how everything works. I still don’t follow God as much as many people would like me to, I do my own thing. But I stand up for him when I need to, and still think about him and Christianity, still try to figure it out. The hardest thing, is I feel I got more peace, not from talking to God but realizing things on my own, and having someone help me, and  physically be there to hug me.. I can’t feel God’s hugs.

RESPONSE 2: Church, and its facets like mass, temple etc, were originally designed to being believers of said faith together to share and grow. The modern church has drifted far away from that purpose. With “being religious” an unpunishable offense in modern U.S. – people have taken light of church. Their lax attitude regarding faith transfers into the church. It becomes less about fellowship and growing in religion and more about who is doing what with whom and making yourself feel better for coming on Easter.

RESPONSE 3: My view on modern Christians and Christianity is “its a joke” (not every christian but as a whole I’d say maybe only 20% of Christians are TRUE to what they believe). In my time i spent at my Catholic school we had about 5 different priests because each one would come in, eventually question their priesthood, take a leave of absence, and we would never see or hear about them ever again. Its just terrible. While I was at the Baptist school, our principal (to whom was a strong believer in God and the Christian beliefs) was caught committing adultery against his wife (who was a teacher at the school). Now if you’re a strong believer in God and his teachings and you were true to those beliefs, you would not make a decision like that. That’s the biggest blow I’ve ever taken from the Christian faith. As young people we look up to those older than us for guidance and support. So advice to the elders around teaching young people about whatever faith you are teaching, make sure you are true to that faith before you go against it and send the wrong message to those young people.

RESPONSE 4: Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. But to me, any religion breeds fragmentation.

RESPONSE 5: Well, I still have ALOT of my baptist teachings in me. But more of a solid foundation not for the come one come all as you are type of idea. I still believe it’s wrong to live like the devil all week and act like a saint on Sunday. Where’s the witness in that? But if a modern church does not believe in repentance/acceptance/salvation it’s just heresy imho.

RESPONSE 6: I see modern Christianity a lot of politics.  Say the right thing and do the right thing in front of everyone, but once the doors are closed and the important people aren’t around, the real you shows up.  A lot of times, the most “upstanding” Christian will be the one who screws up the most.  It’s Democrats vs. Republicans (Insert denomination).  Who’s right?  Who’s wrong?  Do the small things really matter?  If you love God and if you believe in Him and all that Jesus did for you, if you express your love and truly accept him, then WHY DOES THE SMALL THINGS MATTER???  A lot of churches also believe that they are very welcoming.  It’s true, a lot of them are… to new people.  I’m a member of a church that was extremely welcoming to me.  Especially a certain family.  They took me in and made me feel at home.  They moved to Texas and now no one there really knows who I am.  No one shakes my hand, invites me out to eat with them.  I was assigned a deacon to help me out with anything that I needed.  I don’t think he even knows who I am…

RESPONSE 7: It depends really. Evangelical Christians make me sick. Brimstone and fire doesn’t scare anyone into the church anymore and regardless most of the evangelical leaders are despites anyway. I always subscribe to the verse of “before you point out the splinter in your brothers eye, deal with the plank in yours”. I have been quite discouraged with the current course of spreading the Gospel, it has done much more harm than good for our religion and will do nothing to advance unless the message evolves.

RESPONSE 8: I think everybody should be able to believe whatever they want. I do not believe that people of a certain faith should annoy the rest of the world with their beliefs. If God’s going to call out to somebody, they’ll find the church. There’s no need to march the cross into somebody’s doorstep. My only problem with the church is their zealousness and random need to convert everybody within reach. You know, the whole “It’s my way or the highway” thing, like Jews and Buddhists and Hindus and Muslims and other denominations are going to burn in a lake of fire unless they accept Christ as their Savior. Now I know that this represents a very small portion of people in the church, but they are often the most vocal ones. Do I accept Christ as my Savior? No. I don’t think I need saving, and nothing any human can say to me will make me think otherwise.

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5 thoughts on ““Choking Them On The Way”

  1. Only skimming a few, particularly RESPONSE #8…I would kindly like to make that person aware that they are committing the same act they accuse “churchgoers” of committing. Specifically, comments like “I do not believe that people of a certain faith should annoy the rest of the world with their beliefs.” Or, “My only problem with the church is their zealousness and random need to convert everybody within reach.” Each of these are actually “religious” convictions that they are “pushing” on others, the same behavior that seems to “annoy” them about “people of a certain faith.”

    Interestingly enough, this person is correct in their final statement, “No. I don’t think I need saving, and nothing any human can say to me will make me think otherwise.” Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44, ESV). I pray that the Father will draw RESPONDER #8, he will recognize the Father’s infinite grace in Christ Jesus, and point others to the Living God!

  2. Kevin,
    I feel I have to disagree. RESPONSE 8 is talking about their beliefs when directly asked, not necessarily “marching their belief into somebody’s doorstep.” so to speak. I think it’s a little unfair to assume #8 is pushing their beliefs on others when they were, in this instance, simply answering a question asking specifically how they felt about this topic.

    • Thanks Kevin and Sarah for responding. I like good dialogue. I do want everyone to share their feelings and opinions. Each of our responses tell a different story. RESPONSE 8 is a good friend and I know where he’s coming from (at least a little.) I respect his opinions and pray for him daily. And Kevin is also a friend. both are on different parts of their spiritual journey. Our sharing will hopefully draw us closer to His story and I will be sharing more about that soon!

      • Sarah-

        Thanks for responding…I do see what you’re saying. I also admit that I may have formed some unfair assumptions as well; please forgive me for that.

        I will say that many people have proclaimed the gospel in a rather brutal fashion (all truth, and no love), while others are guilty of sharing the gospel absent of conviction (all love, and no truth). Neither of these are the true, biblical, gospel of Jesus Christ. I am sorry if you, or Responder #8, have been hurt by either of these forms of “evangelism,” or by an unbiblical “church” or “Christianity.”

        You did say that Responder #8 was a person who simply was responding to the question with how he “felt.” Even so, his feeling is still a belief/conviction to which he personally holds. He said, “If God’s going to call out to somebody, they’ll find the church. There’s no need to march the cross into somebody’s doorstep. My only problem with the church is their zealousness and random need to convert everybody within reach.”

        I’d like to humbly offer a response to this…

        The Bible does say that it is God, in his sovereignty, who draws people into a saving relationship with himself through the work of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit. (John 6:44, 63; Romans 9:16). However, he has chosen at this point in salvation history to make that exhortation through his people. Jesus commanded his followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Again, Jesus said in Acts 1:8, ““But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Peter then says, filled with the Holy Spirit, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Peter goes on to say in Acts 10:34-43, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” In light of all this, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:20-21, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

        Sadly, many people have proclaimed the gospel in harsh tones, void of any semblance of love. Again, I’m sorry if someone of that nature has hurt you. However, Christians are called to proclaim, in love, the gospel as an act of obedience to God. God has commanded us to do so, and ordained that it be through the preaching of His Word that people would be awakened, by His Spirit, to faith and new life in Jesus (see Romans 10:17).

        The gospel is the “Good News” of God’s love for the world in his only Son, Jesus. The world is desperately lost in sinful rebellion against God (live on this planet for 24 hours, and it’s hard to deny that). It is evident that something has gone horribly wrong. But God, being rich in grace and mercy, has sent his Son to live the life we cannot live…to suffer and die, in our place, the death that we deserve because of our sin against him. Then, God the Father raised Christ from the dead to show that he had defeated the powers of the Devil, sin, and death through the work of Christ Jesus. Thus, by trusting in Jesus, we are accepted by God, not on the basis of personal performance, but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus. Having then trusted in Jesus, God forgives us of our sin, removes our guilt and shame, clothes us with the righteousness of Christ, and gives us his Holy Spirit to empower us to live new lives, have new minds, hearts, desires, dreams; and we then have the joy of treasuring him forever.

        So, it is necessary that people proclaim the gospel. It’s not an act of over-zealousness, or even a “random need.” When done biblically, and filled with truth AND love, it is the power of God for the salvation of those who would believe.

        God bless.

  3. no worries, You considered it from my point of view which is open minded of you.

    I agree, God did command his followers to evangelize, however I have to agree with RESPONDER 8 that some take this too far. I also know several non-invasive ways. friend evangelism, you just talk about it when comes up, invite them to youth group bible study whatever, just don’t talk about it EVERYTIME you have a conversation, it gets old and the person will probably come to the conclusion your just talking to them to convert them. Church sponsored events like VBS and stuff, people willingly go knowing at one point they will probably hear the message but are ok with that. There are prison out reaches and stuff that are GREAT! but I hate stranger evangelism. I had a guy witness to me when I was like 12 on a ski lift, I was there with my youth group, and I wanted to tell him to shove off. When I’m out and about I don’t want someone coming up to me and trying to witness to me, I’m trying to chill out or get stuff done. I don’t even care if someone is giving out tracs, just don’t invade my personal space and put me on the spot.

    I’m in no way saying you do this. There are many loving Christians out there that do a great job of witnessing. I’m just saying there are also ways NOT to evangelize.

    Evangelize, don’t pulverize.