I’ve been told that I believe the things I do because of my parents. Quite frankly, that hurts. Maybe it hurts because there is some truth to it. As sure as I was born into a Christian family I could have just as conceivably been born into an Islamic, Hindu or even atheist family.
Growing up, the simplicity of my faith and the messages I was fed left me wondering how the rest of the world got everything so wrong. What is it that people find so confusing about the truth, I use to ask myself. The wide and narrow roads metaphor made the good news seem so logical that anyone not following my faith was simply choosing to be evil.
At some point in my life I received a wake up call: Christianity does not make such clear sense to everyone. I also discovered that Christians are not always the blessed missionaries that they are called to be.
In my time at Eastern, two films have drammatically shaken my understanding of the Church and of faith in general. Saved and Jesus Camp are both parodies of the Christian faith that deserve to be watched. Saved is the fictitious story of a high school girl, demonized after she becomes pregnant for trying to help her gay boyfriend be saved. Jesus Camp is a documentary of the an Evangelical summer camp where children are driven to tears when they realize how sinful they are, begging the question, are they being brainwashed?
Upon first view, I was offended by much of what I saw in these two movies. I quickly played my pain off, shuffling the blame onto Evangelicals and other extremists for gaining Christianity such a dislikable image.
After deeper consideration, I realized something uniquely revealing about these movies. They expose symptoms of a faith that is not presented well to outsiders, and, that we do not fully grasp ourselves.
How unthinkable is it for others to be confused by a faith that creates denominations because it cannot agree with itself?
To nonbelievers, the most peculiar parts of Christianity may be the things we believe about them. We know the truth and, God willing, will make it to Heaven. No such luck for the rest of you – should have believed the tracts I left in the bathroom.
Co-workers and friends often ask me why my faith applies to them, and why they should believe people who do not practice what they preach?
I can only imagine what I would think of Christianity had I not been brought up in the faith.
Inquiring Minds is the opinion of the writer with collective thoughts of the editorial staff included, although not altogether representative of the editorial staff’s views.