Thoughts : Progressive Christianity (Others) : Struggles with Organizational Christianity

…Well, I grew up from a Christian family so went to church since young – baptised when I was an infant. It wasn’t until I was about 15-16 that God changed me in the new Church I went to which was a Charismatic/Pentecostal church. Before this I was just attending church because my parents wanted to and it even came to a stage whereby I did not want to go to church – but i gave the new church a try and things changed.

In a sense it’s a very biased reason – i.e. I was brought up a Christian and experienced God when I was 16. In a sense my Christian background influenced me. Maybe in both positive and negative ways. Negative coz going to church since young made me think of it as a routine and eventually made me hate church. But then positive is that I stayed long enough for God to change me.

7 years have passed and I’ve come to reflect more on Christianity and life in general – including very much of the world and its beliefs. It’s hard for me to experience how the world feels about Christianity coz i was never brought up in a neutral or anti-Christian family. Christianity has always been in my family. But yet on the other hand as I study more of the Humanities and Social Cciences – about politics, philosophy, history and economics – I start to understand why people do not believe in Christianity or even a god and why they choose science and reason over faith and belief in an invisible god.

The past few months have been challenging times for my faith. Being immersed in a more non-Christian environment than I had been in for most of my life (with all my Christian friends), I’ve started to reflect on things. My faith has been challenged. I see why people are disappointed in organizational Christianity. I start to understand a bit more about how gays/lesbians feel. I start to see the suffering world out there. I start to understand that the world is more complex than my simple Christian faith had made it out to be before. And I start to cease thinking too simply about my faith and the world around me – to cease from using simple explanations about many complexities in this world. And because of all this, in a sense I am disappointed with organized Christianity too for various reasons. For one, I find it too shallow and not confronting of many serious issues in this world. The fact that Christians in many Churches can go through life in their own little Christian world without being challenged to understand how the real world out there feels makes me greatly disappointed. The tough questions are seldom answered properly by most Churches and Christians – their answers are too simplistic and reflects much ignorance to me, not to mention the world too. I’m not for easy regurgitable answers that I see many Christians give to the problems of the world. It trivializes the problems, shows a lack of sympathy to the questioner and a great lack of understanding to the seriousness of a lot of issues the world faces. It’s as though Christians aren’t good at thinking and don’t bother with the hard questions. Simple faith does not preclude the asking of hard questions. It is ignorance that runs away at the sight of any hard questions. I’m disappointed with how the Church answers many hard questions – those of suffering, hell, treatment of gays/lesbians. I am disappointed with the way Christians seem to treat the Church and their leaders as omniscience and all powerful. Only God should be trusted ultimately and we give too much trust to the Church – which, in my opinion, has done great wrong in the past and continues to do so in the presence. And it continues to do so because we remain unquestionably faithful to whatever it says. We’re afraid to think outside the box or challenge our Church or leaders in any way.

Yet that has not made me lose faith. Why I became a Christian may be because of a lot of my Christian background and influences in my life. Of course God changed me, touched my life and I believed in Jesus for my salvation. Why I remain a Christian is because I can’t let go of Jesus for I still believe this world has to have a God. And I still believe in my sinfulness and forgiveness of sins by Jesus. That’s why I remain and hold on to my faith in Jesus Christ despite my growing disappointment with Churches and organizational Christianity. I know Christians and even churches are a very poor reflection of God and Christ – for the time being at least. If I were to put my faith in them or base my faith in Christ on them, I would have given up my faith. But I still believe Jesus is the true and faithful one and my faith is in Him.

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