When I have talked about the problems within the Church and religion as a whole, I tend to get the same reaction from Christians—they deflect. I don’t think there has ever been a situation where a Christian has actually owned the bad behavior that is rampant within the Church. They always act like the bad things that happen are merely isolated occurrences. When I’ve shared specific incidences that I and others have experienced in the Christian Church, the typical response from them goes something like, “Oh, I’m so sorry that that happened to you; that’s not representative of true Christianity though.” It isn’t? That’s weird because, that has pretty much been my experience. To that, a finger is usually pointed right back to me. You know, “Maybe it’s you—perhaps something you have done wrong, because I have just never encountered anything like that.” Words like that, responses like that; they wound and they wound deep. It doesn’t bring the broken back into the fold, it sends them limping as far in the other direction as they can go.
My point is and has been, for a while now, if there really was a holy spirit that dwelt within Christians, my dear Christian friends, there would be a difference that could be clearly seen within the Church. The divorce rate, teen pregnancy rate, the victimizing leaders, the shallowness, dishonesty, disloyalty, and bigotry found in the church is staggering, and yet just about every Christian I have brought this up to says, “Well, those things are not representative of true Christians,” and of course, they, personally, are not guilty of such things. They consider themselves above the fray and, sadly, they take comfort in that.
In some ways I understand this reaction. If Christians would allow themselves to open their eyes and take a good hard look at their religion, their leaders, and their churches, it would be a bit like seeing behind the scenes at Disneyland. What they told themselves was reality is really only a fantasy and they have guided their entire lives under the delusion that the Christian Church is the happiest place on earth. Of course, it isn’t. Reality, being right in the middle of the fray, showing empathy to those that question their faith, or can no longer believe, rather than sympathizing from afar, that’s being human; that’s what life’s all about.