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An Open Letter from a Lost Sheep

By Andrea ~

Yesterday I read an article about why younger people,and people in general, are leaving the church.I saw it on Facebook from some Christians I used to go to church with(they were sharing the link) I had one of those moments where you're awkwardly staring at the screen..wanting to find whoever wrote that and talk some sense into them.I don't know who wrote it but I'm not surprised.It seems to be this weird attitude that a lot of people in the church have about ''lost sheep.'' .I don't know those kind of people anymore.I'm so far removed from the church world.But they sure seem to think they know a lot about ''my type''! In case any of them drop by here ( and since they think they know so much about me) to see what ''lost sheep'' are up to ....here is my open letter to them.

Dear Christians of the World,

I've seen your articles...you've been worried about losing people in general,but mostly it seems to be young people .You seem to be noticing a drop of people around ages twenty to thirty.Since I'm the perfect example, of the type of person you're talking about...I'm going to tell the world what the problem REALLY is.You're trying to figure it out but,as someone who has been there,I'm telling you why you're missing something.I was raised in christian church and left when I was nineteen years old.I was also home schooled and went to a christian home-school group. I've had a full dose of your world..and maybe a little more,so I know I had enough experience to say ''This is not right.''

You might expect that this will be the part where I go into how awful the church was and how everyone was mean and uptight. I've seen in some of these article where you say ''People in church are too uptight and young people don't like it.'' You seem to think I left because everyone acted like an uptight, strict Amish person.As if it was just too much. But that's not really what contributed to me leaving.Yes there were some uptight people. but the majority were pretty laid back for religious people.And that's just the problem...no matter how much you try to make it a friendly atmosphere it will always seem too uptight.Your version of ''laid back'' is not comforting at all.What's laid back about everyone getting in line to drink grape juice, and talking about how it represents being a sinner who needs to be covered in blood?What's laid back about the fact that, no matter what I do, it's not enough and I still need this blood sacrifice to cover me?So yes. you actually do have some nice laid back people...but that isn't enough to make the church feel like a ''safe place.''

You've also mentioned things being outdated in the church,and that it makes my ''technology loving generation'' back away.You seem to think that if you can only make the church look like an Apple store..I'll come running back to be a member again.That's somewhat true...I'm twenty two years old and I would rather be buying something on Itunes than reading a Bible.But let me tell you...it doesn't matter if you buy Ipads for everyone in your young adult group or buy them new Iphones to take on a mission trip.There is and always will be an outdated feeling in the atmosphere of a church who follows Bible teaching.I'm still going to be reading about ideas that just don't work in the modern world.If I read about why woman should stay silent in church...how will reading that on an Ipad make it any more ''modern''?

Do you realize that you are reading a book from a time when woman were stoned to death for being pregnant outside of marriage?Sexuality is a huge problem within the church.You mention that you need to offer better solutions to this problem. That if you could somehow make christian sexuality more relatable, and less judgmental, that more young people would stick with the plan. I sat in one your Bible studies, and witnessed you trying to do this.You told me that saving sex for marriage wasn't easy but I could do it with God's help.You didn't judge me..and I thank you for that...but you also didn't offer a solution.I can't fault you for that though..because there is no solution when it comes to your teaching.Say I have a long time boyfriend.We've been together for ten years but don't want to marry until I'm older.I'm sorry but there is no ''softer'' way to to teach me that I still can't have sex with him.There is no reason why you HAVE to be married first and everyone in the modern world knows that.Overall the problem with the sexuality is that your holy book is always demanding it be changed.Ask any gay/lesbian person out there will tell you that prayer doesn't change them..and they are fine and happy as they are. As long as you try to fix what doesn't need to be fixed there will be problems.

It's been mentioned also that a boring setting may drive people away.Oh yes...you're right about that.Maybe you're planning to ditch the youth room and build a giant amusement park outside.Sure..maybe a roller coaster would wake me up a little bit more than a mundane get together with hot dogs and water balloon games.(and yes that is a little childish at eighteen) Save your money though...I can deal with a crowded class room,or a mundane game,if something exciting is being taught. But as far as I've seen...nothing exciting was going on in there.I thought meeting your God(yes a GOD!) was going to be a thrill.Or at least a little...interesting.I was always learning about what he did,or was going to do,but he never actually seemed to be there in THAT time.Oh I tried to ''meet him'' ....I really did.And I really wanted to!I didn't mean to end up always feel like I was sitting in a boring setting where I was singing worship songs to no one...but I did.Don't even worry about your building ...if I can't find your God then you could meet in a palace of crystal and it would still be lacking everything.You insist he's there...well he hasn't shown me that.

Lastly...please stop acting like certain parts of your Bible don't exist.That's really really annoying.I think it's why you lose intelligent people.Most atheists I've come across are careful in looking for the truth and if you tell them ''Umm no sorry I don't read that half of the Bible.I don't know what your talking about'' it won't help anything.You've just shown intelligent people that you have no clue what you're talking about.But,like other problems,I can't totally blame you for this.If someone brings up a gruesome Old Testament story about infants being slaughtered at God's order...what you are really going to say?There isn't anything to say is there?Yes people have problems with accepting a horror scene as truth...but as long as you follow the Bible...I don't think there is any solution to it.It presents it as truth so,as a christian,you are also forced to represent that to the world.There is no way to make a story about God drowning everyone more ''presentable'' to the world.

So what am I getting at here?Do you see it now?Do you see the pattern in all these problems?I understand your effort to make church a good place,cause I was there once.But if you're holding onto a dead horse..nothing is ever going be right. The problem is THE BIBLE.The teachings don't help anyone or offer anything(except what I found to be an empty promise).What me,and a lot of other people,are finding out is that it's a dead book with God who isn't living .The best thing to do is stop chasing after people my age and go do something more worth your time.And I know that would be a shock for any christian to hear.But once you let it sink... in it starts to feel right.Life isn't so bad elsewhere.I'm not crying! I'm trying to stay open minded but I can tell you...in my own life I see no sign of your God chasing after me. I was seeking..but I didn't find.Lots of people seek but don't find.So my question to all this is...if your God isn't chasing after people my age...why are you?Think about it...and maybe one day you won't all feel the need for a christian church anymore.

Sincerely,

A Lost Sheep

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