In evangelical Christianity there are certain "buzz answers" that are given when a believer is facing a specific struggle. If a person is facing a financial problem, one may hear, "God will provide," or "Perhaps you haven't prayed enough," or "God may be trying to get your attention by letting you suffer financially." Meanwhile the bills are piling up and the person is wondering where to turn. At the same time, I do not think the Church is meant to practice bailout for every Christian who has financial problems. Usually, the source of financial problems goes deeper than insufficient funds in a bank.
So a lot of questions are left unanswered in the minds of many Chrisrians. Many thoughts of the heart go unspoken. Much pain is unattended for fear of being given a pat response that piles guilt on the one undergoing the trial.
The reason for these poor responses lies in the fact followers of Christ are afraid to say, "I don't know," or "I'm not sure what God is doing in your life. Maybe it has nothing to do with God at all. You just made some bad decisions," or "Did you expect life as a Christian to be any different than what you experienced as a non-believer? Who sold you that bill of goods?"
Here's is my list of things that I'm convinced Christians won't admit or utter because they're afraid of a legalistic or simplistic response by their Christian friends:
•I refuse to forgive that person who caused me such pain and ruined my life.
•My children are totally out of control even though I raised them as Christians.
•I have sinned and am an imperfect human being despite Christ in my life
•I hate going to church; my soul is left dry and empty even though I attend faithfully.
•My pastor is a nice guy but he really doesn't preach out of the Bible.
•I have several chronic illnesses and all I get from other Christians is condemnation and names of charismatic healers I should go to.
•My marriage is horrible and I refuse to work on it anymore despite what God and Christians think.
•Christians in public leadership or on TV are an embarrassment. They practice sappy showmanship and their behavior in the pulpit or on stage is anachronistic and condescending.
•I feel so uncomfortable around overly emotional Christians who are always saying "Praise the Lord" and sound so robotic. Do these people have a life or has religion become their new form of entertainment?
•Why does the church jump on sexual sins by leaders and congregants, but ignore all the other heinous sins we commit like gossip, lying, backstabbing, gluttony, pride and unkindness?
•Is anyone really justified to be mad at God because of the way their life turned out?
•I am always have financial problems regardless of how much I give to church or pray for blessing.
•Does prayer really work? Events are going to happen anyway whether you pray or not.
•What in the world does it mean when people say, "You haven't prayed hard enough"?
•I'm sick and tired of Christians who condemn our country for using force to stop terrorists. Why are Christians such pansies when it comes to violence? Haven't they read the Bible?
•Why are there so many single Christian men and women? What has Christianity taught these eligible people that has kept them unmarried when they want to find a mate so badly?
•I think Christian men are being sold a bill of goods by a lot of Christian authors who write books on masculinity. Just ask Christian women what they're looking for in a Christian guy.
My list can be a lot longer. But you get the picture. If you care to comment on this post, send more of those hard-to-speak words you'd rather not say in a Bible study or a church setting. It's my conviction that the words we refuse to utter are truly what the average Christian has on his or her mind. Instead, we choose to live in a phony spiritual world in which we say all the right things just so we can sound "Christian." That's too bad.