I posted on Twitter this statement a few days ago and then realized it had more packed into it that I first thought:
“The most anti-Christian people I know were Christians who had bad church experiences and nothing to help them back. We failed those people!”
Of course bad things happen to people in church or in some cases evil happens. Does a personal experience make something right or wrong? No, of course not. That is however how most people become anti-Christian.
The issue to me is that the church in some places have lost what it means to be Christ-like. For some that means they have stopped living love, for most that means they have stopped living Truth.
How do we change this? To live a godly live that glorifies God not with our emotions but also with our wills and mind.
Overall we have become a new religion: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism–the New American Religion. Like all heresies this one will die away and the church will remain but it may hurt or even destroy those who the church is trying to save. Here is the definition of it from the above linked article:
When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.” As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these: 1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.” 2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.” 3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.” 4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.” 5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.” That, in sum, is the creed to which much adolescent faith can be reduced. After conducting more than 3,000 interviews with American adolescents, the researchers reported that, when it came to the most crucial questions of faith and beliefs, many adolescents responded with a shrug and “whatever.”
I have warned before about the people who do not care (and it looks like we are them as well) but sometimes a good joking can open the eyes more than lecturing. So with apologies to the apostle Paul here is the armor of
God Moralistic Therapeutic Deism:
Live for your own pleasure then,
with the belt of emotional outpouring buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of self-righteousness in place to make sure that life is fair no matter what,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness to go to any social justice rally.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of blind-faith, with which you can extinguish all criticisms even if they are valid or not.
Take the plastic rose-colored glasses of ignorance and pink/yellow highlighters to choose what your favorite personal promise is from the word of God.
And pray on all occasions but only when other people are around being sure to receive any groans and whispered amens for saying magic Christian words and phrases.
With this in mind, be alert for people who challenge what you believe and shame them, to make sure only what you feel personally is true.