(continued from 4/7/09)
Reason #3: I don’t believe in Jesus because I was raised in church. A lot of people have the idea if you were raised in church you automatically get the Jesus thing. Well, for me, church was a very difficult period in my life as a child. It didn’t make sense. It was populated by people who certainly didn’t look like they wanted to be there. I wasn’t taught much in Sunday School except to go on the roof of the education building and smoke cigarettes by the time I was eleven. Again, I’m from Kentucky where smoking is indeed a spiritual gift.
I sat in pews dressed in clothes that were uncomfortable listening to songs I didn’t understand, sung by people who didn’t sing like they were very joyful, and heard sermons about hell, and pride, and how I was going to have to trade one for the other.
Matter of fact, my brother and I swore if we ever got out of church we’d never go back.
So I’m not a Christian because I was raised in church. I’m a Christian in spite of the fact I was raised in church. But let me say this: churches aren’t perfect. And you would think that an organization that collects people and allows them to be truthful about how broken and messed up they are would indeed be a messy place. I think it’s really hypocritical to expect the church to be perfect. I did and I was wrong. I love being a part of a church. I’ve committed myself to the advancement of the American church and will continue to do so as long as I have strength and breath. But I don’t serve the church. I serve Christ and the church of people who love and serve Him and seek for Him.
Reason #4: I don’t believe in Jesus because my parents were Christians. To me, that’s like saying if I was born in a garage, I’d be a car.
My parents were good people. My father has passed on and my mother is in her late eighties. But here is the truth: if my parents’ faith was meaningful to them, they didn’t find practical ways to translate it to me. I didn’t see it much in how we lived our daily life: we never read the Bible, we never prayed, we didn’t do those things that you would attribute to Christian parents in a Christian home. And so I came to believe that for us in our family the Christian faith was a cultural thing. It was a nominal thing, a Sunday thing, a thing to be relegated to one day a week. So, while my parents were good people and loving people, they didn’t inspire me to be a Jesus guy. Maybe your parents didn’t either.
Again, it’s one of those issues of I’m a Christian in spite of my church and my family raising. Maybe you’ve been using your family as an excuse to hide behind, and maybe it’s time to come out and consider the claims of Christ as they really are.
(to be continued)