*Christian-y rant warning*
I am not entirely sure how to properly articulate some of my frustrations lately that I have with my faith and beliefs and the difficulty sharing it. My livelihood has me bouncing from here to there every month with my husband. We love our life and are very grateful for it. But sometimes I get lonely as a believer, because there are not many of us in the line of work we are in.
First and foremost, I am a Christian. I desire to follow Christ and trust in His promises to me and one day I will meet Him face to face. It will be awesome. But often, I am discouraged. Not by Him, but knowing there will be faces I won’t be seeing one day.
The social circles I run in are often very hostile toward a lot of principles and ideologies that are tied to the core of my faith. This isn’t to say the people I’ve met are confrontational to me personally, or would even say anything unkind about me. In fact, they are some of the most talented and dedicated people out there. They are fiercely motivated to create and put out positive vibes. But they scoff at my God and say unkind things about Him. And I don’t blame them, nor am I surprised at the caustic nature of the responses I see towards my beliefs and my Lord. They don’t know him. What’s more human than judging someone based on very limited knowledge, or even lies?
In a day and age where we are culturally being taught to serve the self first, it makes sense then that the idea of of an omnipotent being who claims to be large and in-charge is fairly unappealing, especially when His “rule book” seems to deny humans from indulging into every pleasure life offers. Not a very winsome argument to believe in God. But this isn’t the Lord I serve. This isn’t the One who has shown me over and over again His kindness, His patience, His mercy, His grace, His comfort, His Love. All I can share with anyone is my experience, and trust that God is working in that moment.
What’s even harder to fight against is another angle at which I see many of my fellow Christ-followers go to persuade non-believers: You need God.
Excuse me? I am an independent, proud, and strong individual and need no ONE person. I’ve scraped and clawed my way this far without God, so why would I need him now? Where was He when [insert any horrific anything]? No thanks, I’ll pass.
Of course they don’t need God: they have their lives together. They have their Netflix and latte in hand. They have their social causes they actively tote on social media. They are united under banners and hashtags. They have their parties and conventions to rally around fandoms and common interests. They have their community of fellow twitter followers, subscribers, likes, comments, and enough shares to make their seven-second video go viral. They have unlimited access to data, 24/7 services and tech support for when hulu doesn’t work. They have their start-ups, their kick starters, their HQ video branding their new business and products. They have their own idea about what the American Dream is and they pursue it with a blind fervency to “make it,” whether that means they’re climbing the corporate ladder, reaching the million dollar mark for their
#thisthingmatters campaign, or paying the bills and still have enough for Spotify premium. If these are all the #goals (along with many more), they are all within our grasps, so why depend on God, much less, see a need for Him in their lives?
And even still – many of us are learning that we are broken and feel alone. We are more anxious and worried than ever. We get overwhelmed and depressed. We don’t want to talk to anyone, but at the same time feel connected. But connect to other broken lonely people, not God.
The problem is this dependency on a cause or a person or an achievement are all temporary and flawed and will eventually disappoint, because it is all temporal and conditional.
Good. A lot of truths that a lot of other Christians will understand and nod their heads in agreement (and some will sth in disagreement). But how do I bridge the gap? How do I help my unbelieving circle of friends catch even a glimpse of truth that I’m trying to share? We can discuss and debate until we are all blue in the face. We can agree to disagree. We can hug it out and live and let live. We can say “You do you, boo.” But as a believer who knows how it will end, that just isn’t good enough.
I suppose this is just me venting an echoed problem millions of believers have faced for millennia. I am sure the Martin Luthers and Augustines of the past looked at their society and culture in the same way I am now and brought to tears at the thought of how many people need to know Jesus, but so many won’t.
That’s a hard pill to swallow. And one I’ve already choked down and it makes my stomach churn every time. Knowing a very dear friend of 10 years never came to know the Lord (to my knowledge). I had many great conversations with this person and he was very open and listened well to my plight. Sometimes I think I was too young to be sharing the Gospel and maybe I messed it up all together. I know that isn’t true, but it’s hard not to think that maybe if I had been more mature, I would have articulated a more persuasive argument. Maybe it is heretical to believe this, and maybe I only do it to soothe the ache of that choked down pill, but I like to believe that God in His infinite grace and mercy revealed Himself to my friend in his last moments. And maybe my friend will be a face I see one day along with Jesus’.
I wish I could say I was going somewhere uplifting and hopeful and with a “a trick” up my sleeve. But sorry, this will be the anti-climatic ending I wish I could re-write, but I simply have no be answers of how to respond to the volatile storm of culturally anti-Christian teachings.
The worst part is a lot of Christians don’t even think there’s a storm going on. Many of us are satisfied to sit comfortably and safely in our seats with our coffee on Sunday morning and with our fellow brothers and sisters on Tuesday evenings, planning the next retreat and/or outing to lazer tag, Dave & Busters, or Five Guys Guy Night. Not that there is anything wrong with Christian community, it is dire to your spiritual health. I just wonder how much of that is for our health and how much has “church” even distracted us from our mission. I even find myself settling for God’s word and His truth to be trampled over and replaced with all the golden calves to humanity’s folly all in the name of progress.
The storm will only intensify, culture will become increasingly more hostile, and us Christians pretend that it’s okay and we instagram a Bible verse and call it evangelism. Oh look, it got 100 likes in the first hour. #Winning
Praise be to the Self.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
This was mostly a vent. Which, I apologize if you wasted your time reading all 1500 words, but maybe you are a believer and feel the same way. At the very least, you are not alone and I encourage you to cling to the above verse from Lamentations 3. If you happen to be a non-believer and made it this far, you’re either very bored and cannot wait to rip me a new one in the comment section, or you’re curious, maybe confused, in which case, I’d love to talk more with you.