Monday, October 17, 2011


A friend of mine recently asked me, if I were to change one thing about the church what would it be? To answer this question I wrote it out as a bit of a testimony. I was then subsequently challenged to post my answer on my blog. It's been almost 2 years since I posted something on here, so I figured "why not?" So here goes.....

If I could tell "the church" one thing that it is lacking, it would be authenticity. I've been really wrestling with my faith for a while and when this journey first began I felt like I was treated like a freak by my peers and those I'd grown up with. It started in a young adults Bible Study one Sunday afternoon and we were discussing the concept of hearing God's voice, feeling His direction etc, and I asked "What if you feel like God has never really spoken to you?" Jaws dropped around the room as I finished the question. I was known as the one who had the Bible verse for every situation and my life was spent volunteering in all aspects of church activities, so my peers in the study couldn't believe I'd asked this question. The response I received was that I need to have more faith, do more, pray more, volunteer more, read my Bible more, and have more faith (yes, I know I said "have more faith" twice - that's how much I heard it). I already had my Christian "disciplines" down to a science and didn't know what else to do. This led me to the conclusion that maybe I just wasn't good enough for God, maybe I wasn't supposed to be a Christian, I just, unfortunately, was born into a Christian family. That was 7 years ago.

Since then, I have modified my question to a quest to have a deep and meaningful relationship with God. This has led me on a journey of trying to walk away from my faith but not being able to get away for the notion that God and I do have a relationship. This questioning has allowed me to be more open about discussing what I'm wrestling with this concept, although not without fear that I will be judged for "not doing enough." However, when I've shared my story, questions and struggle with my current pastor (I left the church where I attended that young adults study), and a few select others, I am usually told something along the lines of "lots of believers wrestle with
this - you are just being honest about it."

The fact that I am one of the few being honest about this hurts. If I had had people who were willing to ask me about my relationship with God when I was younger, I might not have had this collapse of faith during my college years. If I'd been met with support and words of understanding and empathy when I raised my question, instead of shock and disapproval, I may not have walked away from the church at that time. If people truly were honest about their faith and struggles, would people be so adverse to stepping into a church because they feel like they aren't good enough and would be judged? I think it's time the church stopped "playing" church and pretending they are perfect and have everything together, and become authentic, truly
sharing in the hurts and struggles people are really facing in everyday life.

So there is my second every blog post. Maybe next time it won't be 18+ months between postings......
I want to make it clear that my feelings about "the church" as a whole does reflect how I feel about individuals in the church. I am still good friends with many people from that small group and other individuals from that church that I used to attend. This is not intended to be an attack, just a statement of my observations and feelings.