"Of the friends of mine who have abandoned Christian faith, very few of them stopped believing in Christ because of intellectual problems with the Bible or because they were seduced by some other worldview or belief system. Rather, they tend to abandon Christian faith because of the irrelevance, judgmentalism, internal dissension and a lack of compassion they experience within the Christian community. Rather than finding the church to be the community that most deeply encouraged them in their struggles, they lost heart in their discouragement and lost their faith in the process. Rather than experiencing the church as the site of the most profound hospitality, love and acceptance, they felt excluded because of their doubts and struggles."This resonates with my own experience, of course. This probably happens more than any of us likes to think about, and I suspect that when it doesn't to happen very much, it's because such a large proportion of Christians haven't gone deep enough in the community to make themselves vulnerable to that kind of disappointment. Some people never say a word so they won't have to face the judgment and condemnation of their co-religionists.
- from Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire, 130.
So what do we do about this? What kind of people do we determine to be, and what kind of things will we choose to do, to demonstrate to God and anybody listening that this is a serious problem? Will we order or re-order our lives to that end?