It's phrases most young college Christians hear all the time:
"Do you have to go tonight, come on skip just this once?"
"Don't you want to hang out with me instead of going to church?"
Or my personal favorite
"Why are you still following your parents religion?"
All of these statements are just from my personal experience, I'm definitely not sure if every college Christian has heard them. However, since it's that time of year when everyone heads back to school and they aren't going to their hometown church that they've gone to their whole life, I figured I'd take some time to reflect on why I'm not following my "parents religion". The obvious answer that most people understand is this isn't my parents religion! My parents didn't create the world, write the Bible, or die on cross for the remission of everyone's sins. I was just lucky enough to grow up with parents who taught me about God, the one who did all of that. My parents never forced me to go to church, I always wanted to go. It's always hard to talk about religion because there is always someone more faithful, smarter, or more eloquent with words, but some things just needs to be said.
I was baptized when I was in sixth grade, and I've gone to church my whole life. So when I went to college going to church never felt like a choice, it just is a part of me. It felt just as natural as brushing my teeth every morning or eating dinner, it was something I've always done. I never dealt with anyone questioning why I went until my freshman year of college when some friends wanted to hang out on Sunday and I told them I was going to church. It's a strange thing to see someone so confused about an action that felt so natural. After a while, people came to realize that I went every Sunday and Wednesday, so they stopped asking me what I was doing at ten o'clock on Sunday morning. Nothing sticks in my mind as much as the questions on why I still followed my parents religion or why I was still letting my parents run my life. To me being a Christian is like being a brunette. I'm old enough to change my hair color without my parents permission but at this point it's a part of me and I love my hair color. Maybe it's an unusual comparison, but to some people going to church is unusual. My only hope is to lead by example and give others the lessons my parents gave me.
When it comes down to it I'm not following my parents. I'm following God.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."