I’ve never been here to push the status quo of faith.
When I began the Losing It series, I did so with the knowledge that its contents were likely to offend. I knew including the voices of those of uncertain belief was pushing the envelope.
The goal is not to be offensive but rather to call to action. People are offended by non-believers instead of listening to why they have lost faith. There’s value there, if in nothing else but pushing us to examine how we can be better reflections of Christ.
Reading this series is a choice. No one has to agree with the authors. No author of a contributing post to the Losing It series has attempted to convert anyone to their beliefs. Yet, some have taken grave offense to my inclusion of their voices. Why shouldn’t we be asking ourselves how we contributed to their loss of faith? Yes, it was ultimately a personal decision but it was not an isolated decision.
We need to look at the role Christians play in atheism/agnosticism.
Britney nearly lost her family and friends who belittled her because of her choice to walk away from faith. Christians told her she was an unfit mother. Christians told her she would lose her business partners and future business opportunities. Christians told her that her faith was never real in the first place. Christians spoke death over her life, business, and prosperity while professing to be followers of theology that brings life.
Yet all that some can see is a woman who professes an absence of faith and another woman who allowed her to do so.
We should hold ourselves and other Christians accountable.
A Christian pastor violated Jarrell and bought his silence with the provision of basic needs. Christians told Jarrell that he ought to thank God for life such that it is while he became de facto parent to his siblings in his mother’s drug-induced absence. Christians told Jarrell to be seen and not heard, never to question the will of God while positing themselves as living on a biblical foundation. The same bible that says study to show yourself as proven which, by its nature, requires questioning. Christians allowed him to hurt and suffer in silence while practicing a faith that heals.
Yet, all that some can is a man who professes an absence of faith with strong language.
With both, all questioning has been about why they don’t believe instead of questioning the actions of other Christians who contributed to their unbelief. The bible tells us to let our lights shine in such a way that men might see and glorify our father in heaven. If we are losing people who were once devout, what is happening to our light?
Black Agnostics & Atheists Exist
It’s time to stop burying your heads in the sand and convincing yourself that everyone believes as you do. It’s time to stop pretending that the method of fear-mongering salvation is working. It’s time to stop pretending that we aren’t doing harm to people by sweeping injustices under the rug as part of God’s will.
I don’t agree with the conclusions in Losing It, but I’ve had the same questions and crises of faith. Christians should be reading and giving critical thought to these pieces. We should be asking ourselves: Does the argument have merit? Am I confident enough in my faith to accept what I don’t understand for now? Those are the kind of self-examining questions that we should be asking, but instead we’d rather take offense.
You should challenge what you believe.
Too many Christians are coasting on what they’ve heard about God rather than what they’ve come to know of Him/Her through personal relationship. More than that, I remain convinced that I am planting seeds. The loving kindness I show the authors of these pieces is demonstrative of Christ’s love and reminds them that there is still room at the cross for them if they should decide to find a relationship with faith again. I’ve had personal conversations with each of the authors who have written pieces for me on this topic. Do you know what the commonality is between each of them? Fear of offending others. Ironic how the nonbelievers are far more sensitive and compassionate in the absence of faith than those who daily profess unwavering faith.
For me, the soul of the atheist or agnostic matters as much as the soul of the self-appointed Saint. I’m not here to save those who already profess salvation and belief in Christ. I’m here to remind everyone that encounters this work that there is room at the cross for them. God loves the unsure as much as S/He loves the certain. I’m not here to preach fear of hell as a tacit explanation to choose Christ. That’s not my approach to theology nor modus operandi in my relationship with Christ.
Are we drawing or are we repelling?
The enemy is not a distant, ominous spirit. Without a doubt, evil exists. But the church and its inhabitants have failed to recognize that we are the greatest enemy to furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ. With our failure to live a life of love, compassion, and care for all mankind in the way that Christ did, we do more damage to the brand of Christianity than any demonic figurehead could do.
Yes, spiritual warfare exists but the war is much bigger than going to heaven or hell. If you’ve done nothing in the dash between your date of birth and date of death but decide that your understanding of the bible are the author and finisher of someone’s afterlife fate, you have failed. Too many Christians have occupied their entire existence in an invisible battle against evil while participating in the greatest miscarriage of faith: a failure to experience a true relationship and love affair with Christ. Too many Christians have made their faith walk about defeating a devil that was already defeated since the creation of time while negating the beauty of communion with the true and living God.
People have become more preoccupied with religion than with relationship.
We live in an age where people take offense before listening to someone questioning belief in of God. Nothing about this demonstrates the goodness and grace of our God. Is a life in Christ one lived in fear of a devil that was defeated with Christ’s death and resurrection?
The Unfit Christian is a body of work. Losing It is one series. Everyday I watch people who I know struggle with faith consume the words and works that God has allowed me to offer. Everyday someone sends me a message, email, or comment thanking me for putting words to their feelings. The people who tell me they needed to hear this. The ones who no longer believe they’re crazy. The people who didn’t know that life in Christ could look like this. Those are the people I write for. I could not do this work if I did not push beyond the fear of retribution from the religious.
Allowing the truth of a non-believer is me meeting someone where they are.
You may rush to judge me as a heretic for allowing people to detail their issues with faith. But, consider that I’m reaching people who are impervious to your hellfire and brimstone tactics. They may continue to absorb this body of work simply because I’ve created a safe space for questioning. Continuing my work could, by grace, allow them to see themselves in Christ again. If I only win one soul by providing a platform for all voices, even those that do not mirror my own, then to God be the glory. Last I checked, the word STILL says go out into the highways and the hedges and COMPEL them to come.
Just like with my friends of other faiths, I’m not here to convert you to my frame of mind. Yet, I also will not toe the line and cut the voices of this series short to please insecure religiosity. I’m walking in what is well with me AND what will net the fish God has commissioned unto me.