Friday, August 2, 2013

The Church Is a Bunch of Hypocrites So I Left to Live as the Biggest One

Yep. I've seen this time and time again. Most of these individuals are people who are living worldly lives and don't want to be convicted for it. Hence, it's the church's fault for making them feel guilty and unwelcome. Whatever.

We should not forget that all too often people’s purported rationales can be unwitting or self-serving rationalizations. The heart is deceitful above all things and we are almost invariably the primary victims of our own dishonesty about our true motives. Anyone who has been around the block a few times will know that, for instance, several of their peers who left the church ‘because of all of the hypocrisy’ or ‘because of the tension between science and faith’ had been struggling for some time with the cognitive dissonance between their fornication and their professed faith. The reasons that we give for our decisions are often chosen because they present us in the most favourable light.

The truth of ourselves is revealed in our actions. If we truly want to understand millennials, we will learn more from examining their behaviour than from listening to their self-descriptions. This is a troubling fact of life for many who harbour the strongly held belief that no one has the right to define or to describe them, seeing all such things as tyrannical impositions. The reality of our actions seldom paints as flattering a picture as our self-descriptions.

For instance, people who are genuinely grieved by hypocrisy seek to lead transparently godly lives and to support their neighbours in this calling. The more prevalent response of cynicism excuses its responsibility for its dispassionate approach to virtue upon the vice of others. In the same way, when someone says that they left the Church because of X, Y, or Z that the Church is doing wrong, we need to ask ourselves whether genuine failures of many churches are serving as excuses for people’s light abandonment of their own Christian vocation. In other words, where is the evidence that many millennials who left the Church were ever deeply and firmly committed and along for more than the ride?

Where such evidence of genuine and sacrificial commitment is lacking, adjusting to accommodate the lukewarm or the apathetic will often achieve little more than diluting the Church’s own commitment. It won’t produce commitment in those who were apathetic from the outset. While I don’t want to deny for a moment that many have been scarred by abusive churches, most millennials who have left the Church aren’t exactly the walking wounded. 

1 comment:

  1. "If we truly want to understand millennials, we will learn more from examining their behaviour than from listening to their self-descriptions."

    I'd say that this applies universally, not just to "millenials."

    Excellent article.