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20 May 2007 @ 11:12 pm
Trying to articulate certain feelings never works.  
It's a lot harder for me to be a Christian these days.
I don't mean that it's harder for me to believe in Christ's divinity or want to live my life with Him and for Him, like I'm finding it factually difficult to believe Biblical accounts. No, nothing like that. The difficulties come from the negative feelings so many people I encounter have towards Christianity. As I've seriously considered my faith and become more active in pursuing a stronger relationship with Christ, my eyes have become more open to the hostility. Maybe it's always been there and I was too calloused to notice, but whatever shielded me before is no longer working. God Is Not Great is #3 on the NY Times bestsellers list for hardcover non-fiction, and is only the latest in several anti-religion/anti-God books to come out in the past few months. (Atheist Manifesto and God: The Failed Hypothesis come to mind.) This anti-religion mindset seems to be a major part of a lot of peoples' reasoning right now; when talking to people at school or work they are not merely 'not Christian' which would be understandable, but 'against Christians' which surprises me.

Part of that does come from the fact that for years high-profile evangelists have built themselves up onto highest pedestals, only to fall off in a fantastic display of hubris and sin. I get it. Jerry Falwell is not a popular man, and to many he embodied the fundamental evils of organized religion. But the way many people talked about his death really saddened me, because it seemed as if many folks couldn't separate one man's organization and decisions from an entire religion, of which he represented only a most extreme view. Falwell, Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart are not the faces of all of Christianity but they are the first thing many people think of and it's difficult to get past that perception.

After the negativity stirred by these televangelists and others, it's difficult to talk about my faith with other people. I'm not even talking about “You should covert to Christianity because you'll go to hell if you don't!” They've heard faith-spiels like that before and certainly I don't need to be the one recycling those words. But I can't even say something like “I went to church last Saturday and the pastor had a sermon about relationships. The breakdown of the family unit and the frantic pace of modern life has led to a emptiness in our generation, because we have trouble forming and maintaining friendships. I thought that was an interesting perspective.” From there comes the assumption that I'm trying to convert everyone to Christianity, when really I just want to talk about an idea I thought was neat. It's hard to find someone my age willing to talk about spiritual matters; many people seem to be too busy thinking about parties or concerts or money or school to think about it.

Many people – at least in this area – just seem so opposed to the idea of Christians because they think they're judgemental, pushy, etc. etc. that if you are a Christian they absolutely won't talk to you about it. That's frustrating.
 
 
 
Lindy van den Boschprincess_lilam on May 21st, 2007 08:48 am (UTC)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow
Suzik00kaburra on May 21st, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you for remembering :)
Zthez on May 21st, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
But the way many people talked about his death really saddened me, because it seemed as if many folks couldn't separate one man's organization and decisions from an entire religion, of which he represented only a most extreme view.

Bingo! This phenomenon isn't unique to Christianity; people judge groups based on the worst that group has to offer all the time. I'll admit that I used to feel the same way, but then I just started reminding myself that all the Christians that I know personally are some of the most wonderful people on Earth, and now I look at Christianity based on the best of what it has to offer. Maybe, hopefully, by just being you and just being Christian, you might rub off on someone the same way?
oilofjoyoilofjoy on May 21st, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Many people – at least in this area – just seem so opposed to the idea of Christians because they think they're judgemental, pushy, etc. etc.

I honestly feel this way about a lot of my old friends, being fake & hypocritical is a strong indicator as well. I stopped hanging out with them, and swore to myself that to be a good Christian in this world would only be through my actions. And I've found that living by example definitely opens the door for conversations, where as before it seemed taboo to talk about Christianity. I think what people forget is that almost every form of religion out there starts with a Christian background, and it's sad when someone puts you in this 'box' when you say you are a Christian. I'm still trying to figure out my own Christian walk, and feel like I'm right there with you.
Shannontruelifeshannon on May 21st, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Hey!
Hi Suzi, what's the e-mail address I should use to contact you?
(Anonymous) on May 22nd, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
Re: Hey!
just use k00kaburra @ livejournal.com
whimsicalbeauwhimsicalbeau on May 22nd, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)
"The God Delusion" is Dawkins latest in those types of books, it's gained a lot of steam recently.

I've been aware of this for quite awhile, before you started taking me to church. It's difficult. People really get freaked out at the word Christian. I'm not saying we're really discriminated against, like the blacks during segregation or whatever, but it is very frustrating. A person can lower their opinion of you in an instant - one minute you are just as smart as everybody else - but when they discover you have a slightly different view on the creation of the universe, BAM! Simpleton idiot. (Not to mention violent, racist, restrictive, and inherntily evil somehow.)

Anyway, I agree.
It's difficult to bring it up in conversation.
I'm sure this is all a sign of something.
Laylalittle_lies on May 22nd, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)