3 Jun 2010

Falling Away?

Submitted by Stephen Winters

It seems that a large percentage of "Christian" youth and young adults are "falling away" from the "church".

It seems to me that this is a direct result of the "church" and parents trying to tell kids what they are "supposed" to believe. The church and religious leaders write up "Doctrinal Statements" "Statement of Faith" and "Membership Covenants" all designed to have people believe everything that the "church" teaches. These "beliefs" are spoon-fed to all the children and people in Bible Studies, Sunday School, and in Worship services. Apparently this is "supposed to" make people to be "solid" in the faith.

In real life, we all believe a little differently, or a lot differently. Our true belief system is a product of our training, our family life, our culture, which are brought into our real life experiences. It is healthy for us all to different belief systems. It is inherently unhealthy to have the leadership try to teach and impose a belief system on those in their church. As I've heard before, we are called to "unity", not uniformity. We are not supposed to be carbon copies of each other. We all come together having different ideas and beliefs. In a truly healthy environment people have the freedom to share their beliefs and ideas. An unhealthy system tries to squash any opposing thought, idea, or belief.

To get back to my opening sentence, it seems to me that some of the people who "fall away" are really just leaving an unhealthy system. Many of these people are beginning to wake up to their own beliefs and ideas. Since they see that these ideas are not welcome at church, then they (rightfully) leave to find a place where they will be accepted.

Others who "fall away" have no idea of what to do or where to go. They just sense that they don't fit in at church and are tired of the guilt and judgementalism that has been constantly dumped on them.

The truth is that people don't willingly leave a place where they truly feel loved and accepted as they are, where they can openly share their own ideas and beliefs. When people have a real sense of family, normal healthy people just don't run away from people who truly love and care for them.

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