December 18, 2007
It seems that a lot of adult ministers are facing a dilemma in the world. Christianity and church are running becoming increasingly unpopular in my generation. I can attest to being one of the many who doesn’t go to church very often. I believe God, however, but the God I see being represented in the media is not the God me and my peers believe in. In addition, the cult like atmosphere of church makes us uncomfortable. We are a generation of freedom, not restriction.
Generally, we are Generation Proof or Generation Why, because we demand proof for all of the hard, skeptical questions we have. Rarely has any church been able to answer our questions. The reason for this is that our questions are interpreted as judgemental and we seem to have already judged the answer. But the truth is, we have the gene to question authority. We want all sides of the story. We want to hear about your doubts in religion, we want to hear that you don’t know all these answers and we want you to answer our questions. Preaching only that “Jesus saves” to people who aren’t like the kids in “Jesus Camp” produces horrible results on the whole.
I doubt my generation will be a very strong “church going” generation aside from the evangelical children being taught as in “Jesus Camp.” We will be a generation of faith though, just not restricted in a church. If you practice youth ministry, my advice would be to ask genuinely without expectations what they want out of religion and how they see God in their lives.
In addition, atheism is growing among my generations for the same reasons above going to church for believes has diminished. I can guarantee, especially being on a college campus, that there is astounding number of believers in God who just don’t want part in any church. In essence, church isn’t appealing. Ask people my age why.
One last comment, my generation has a lot invested in the idea that personal responsibility in necessary. We face a lot of expectations from parents, school and society, so church is just another place for expectations we don’t want to deal with. The new ministry that a lot of seek is one the “preaches” personal ability and trusting in yourself. After all (Imago Dei), if everyone has a piece of God, truly taking the time to make decisions based on what you heart tells you will lead to the will of God, right?
December 16, 2007
I’ve been surfing around the Internet. There is a lot of talk surrounding Christianity in America. There are two main viewpoints: Christianity is awesome, Christianity is only bad. Where’s everybody in the middle?
There are feelings of being misunderstood on every part of the spectrum. There’s hate, anger, confusion, questioning, fear and whole other load of aspects to the discussion.
Christianity has had a very formative role in this country. God is in the constitution, the pledge and on the coin. Our presidential candidates are forced to state their church of choice, but at the same time there a millions of Americans who don’t want Christianity to have such an imposing role on their lives. Valid point: Separation of Church and State.
Perhaps Christianity has succumb to natural human flaws, perhaps it is corrupt. On the other hand, it may be correct. What is Christianity about? It means a lot of things to me. It my religion of choice because it feels like the right place to be. That said, it’s hard for me to look at it and the ultimate source or the absolute truth. Most of the religions in the world have important points to offer people.
The bottom line is that America has hit a brick wall. The discussion about religion has come into the forefront of our lives. When we wake up, in the midst of politics and the presidential decision, we are forced to hear about religion. And the fact is that the people today who call for the connection of church and state would call loudly for their separation if the more popular religion was Judaism or Islam. What’s going on with Christianity? It has become more of a Gospel of Judgement than a Gospel of Loving Thy Neighbor. Is too late in America for it to be respected?
December 15, 2007
Is one of these religions right? Is God really on a side? Is there a God? Is there anything? Have we just missed the point all together?
Human beings have been fighting over religion since our ancestors decided to have relgion. There are billions of people who have very different beliefs and most of them are sure that they are right. And at least one of them says that he is infallible. Now I don’t know about that, but in this world, someone has to be wrong. There either is a God or there isn’t. There is salvation or there isn’t. Right?
Here’s where I am now: If there is one true religion, then it isn’t here yet. None of the religions on this planet are “true” in every sense of the word. Religion brings people together (at least the people in it anyway). If there is no religion on the Earth that brings everyone together, then there is no one true religion. Going on, all of the religions on this earth will contribute to the one true religion (if there is one) because in every religion that I have educated myself on, there are extremely valid points about life and perspective. Even more, most of them have the same themes, they just express them differently. So they all have a little piece of the puzzle, we just haven’t gotten all the way yet. Or maybe there isn’t a way to get to.
So here’s the question. Tell me what you think. Is there one true religion?