Monday, October 28, 2013

** I actually wasn't going to post this, I simply wrote it for myself to get a few frustrations out of my system (you'd be surprised how many drafts I have saved that I've never posted for the same reasons). BUT, yesterday at church, something was said that has pushed me to hit "publish" and make this public. The message yesterday was about being persecuted. While that topic doesn't exactly relate to this post, a few things were mentioned that hit home with how I've been feeling: as Christians, we need to be courageous and bold; we need to do what's right. And because of those two statements, I felt pushed to post this - to be bold and courageous. To shed light on what's going on with today's Christians. To shed light on why nonbelievers see Christians in such a negative light. 
 I mean no harm from this post, it is simply my view on things I've witnessed in the Christian community in the past few years. 

I posted this photo on Instagram a few days ago. I picked up this book a few months ago and haven't had time to actually sit down and read any book in a while - but as I was sitting in the car line to pick up one of my kiddos from school I managed to find a few quiet moments to start in on it. The very first page hit me hard:

"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. 
They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good." 
Titus 1:16

An immediate sadness consumed me. My heart felt so broken. Why? Because this is the state of the Church. I almost feel a sense of guilt when I say that, because that's not the way it should be, and it most definitely is not the way God intended things to be. His Word has become so twisted for each and every person's agenda - our actions are so clearly not obedient to Christ, now, more than ever. 

The verse was convicting. I couldn't make it past that page, to be honest. And I haven't picked up the book since opening it. I'll admit - there have been many times that my actions have contradicted my faith; I'm ashamed of this for so many reasons, but mostly because I want nothing more than to show Christ in my life. For my faith to be who I am, so much so that who "Haley" is, is simply an extension of the Christian faith. I want my life to be pleasing to the Lord. And my actions haven't always represented this. 

And what's more, and I feel just as guilty about this as well, but as soon as I read the verse, a few people came to mind. And I guess, what the point of all of this is, and what I heard when I read that verse, is that we are killing the Christian faith from the inside out. 

And it's not just actions, as the verse points out. It's words. 
I've realized now, more than ever, that gossip is a relentless killer. It kills friendships, it kills professional work life, it kills your relationship with Christ. And THIS is what spoke to me within that passage. 
I've been to a lot of churches in the past few years. In each church, there's always been a clique or two; the popular kids. It's the same in every church! Judgement is passed, not just on nonbelievers, but on their fellow Christians. "Oh, they didn't vote conservative? Wow, they must not be a real Christian." "Did you hear about what so-and-so did this weekend, and then showed up to church on Sunday!?" "Can you find out what's going with so-and-so, they're private on Twitter on IG and I can't see their posts..." I mean, this is real life stuff that I've encountered throughout the years! It's frustrating to me because it's growing more and more evident that Christians judge other Christians more than they judge nonbelievers. 

The only thing I want to say to those people is
It is not your job to judge others. 
Who cares if someone sat by someone at church and it was deemed controversial?!
Who cares how a person voted?! At least they got out and exercised their American right. 
And if you want to see a person's social media so bad, just go ahead and click the follow button. 
I mean, really. 

The whole "Christian Atheist" title was extremely off-putting at first. But the verse included in the front of the book couldn't have been more perfect - it puts everything in perspective. 
Our words can do so much harm; the Christian lifestyle is in major jeopardy because of the words we speak to others. Someone on IG commented on my post, saying that they were agnostic, but what they hate seeing is judgmental Christians give the loving and open Christians a bad name. 
If someone outside of the faith says this, we stop and think, "hmm.. yeah, I guess so, but they aren't talking about me." 
But when a person that follows the Bible, that talks with God every day, that tries so hard to live a life pleasing to God, but fails on a daily basis, can look at this with a clear mind and say, "hey. You are doing. it. wrong." Then, truly, what does the Christian faith look like to the rest of America? To the rest of the world? 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we are all Christian Atheists. 
We are all going to church on Sundays then living life our own way the other 6 days of the week. 
We are all speaking words of hate and judgement without realizing it. 
We are all meddling in others' business and justifying it because we "care" for them. 
I can bet you anything, this is not what God intended for us. He wants us to bring glory to His name in every aspect of our life. Our daily life, our actions, our words. And the judgement we are passing on other Christians? Nonbelievers? Democrats? It's wrong. It's not our job. And it's not bringing glory to the kingdom of Christ.

Now that my little rant is over, we can go back to regularly scheduled programming. Until next time! 


  1. The sermon at my church recently was very similar - about how we profess to be Christians when we're in church, but the rest of the time people tend to lead a "me"-centered life. For me, the quote that really sums it up is the well-known one from Gandhi - "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians." There has even been a time in my life where I preferred to call myself a "follower of Christ" rather than a Christian because I have been so disgusted with what so-called "Christians" have done.

    If we truly want to lead a Christ-centered life, it should be obvious in our every action. And that means EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Not just from nine to noon on Sundays.

    1. I want to give you a million hugs for this comment. I agree wholeheartedly!

  2. Haley, I sadly couldn't agree more. It's so difficult knowing that even as a believer it's hard to feel welcome in church because of the large amount and numbers of groups of people who only allow themselves to go out of there way to be welcoming only in church and for it to only be surface level. I'm not sure about everyone else but I believe we have deep connections and fellowship for a reason and it's so sad we can't find that often. I strongly believe that when people say "you're gonna have that at every church" it's really just an easy way to avoid dealing with the issue. We shouldn't just expect to find that in church. But I'm sure I could ramble on and on, so I'll spare you ;)

    Thank you for posting this, for being honest and challenging me!
    - Leandra

  3. Girl I do agree with you--I didn't grow up in church so I definitely feel out of place sometimes when I'm at a new church...and people aren't always the most welcoming. Some churches can feel kind of "cliquey" and that sucks... but at the same time we are all imperfect people. I'm not saying that makes any of this ok--because it doesn't, and churches should definitely work on these issues... but churches are filled with imperfect sinful people, and so it's not expected to be perfect 100% of the time. It's something I struggle with too, and I don't love how that's what is "normal" at some churches.... but I love that you addressed it, that's the first step. :)