These aren't just numbers. Each number represents a person.
Some of them are people I know and love deeply. They grew up in church, but now wouldn't identify with any organized religion. We've had great, hours-long discussions on this topic.
As a Christian, one thing I've taken away from these conversations is that we too often aren't engaging people at the point where they are wrestling through these issues. That's why I was so encouraged over the last month.
My church Holy Cross PCA recently did a four-part series examining how the gospel speaks to the main points of contention of people with no religious affiliation.
All four messages are well worth the listen.
1. Which God? This is a sermon examining the Biblical God versus characteristics assumed to be true about the God of the Bible.
2. Literally? Troubling passages? Scientific improbabilities? Impossibly high sexual ethics? Do you expect us to take the Bible literally?
3. Facts and Faith. Do you really believe Jesus rose from the dead?
4. Either, neither or both? The problem of evil. Either God is:
- all powerful but not all good
- all good but not all powerful
- not all good or all powerful
Or ... is there another option?
These are such important topics. If you take me up on listening to any of these messages, I'll treat you to a cup of coffee so that we can talk about it.
P.S. If it's helpful to share your story about why you left the church, please e-mail both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We'd be interested in hearing your stories.
Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here. His latest book, Grits and the Grimels, can be purchased here.