6 Topics You'll Never Hear Discussed In A Church, Even Though They Should Be

6 Topics You'll Never Hear Discussed In A Church, Even Though They Should Be

The church should be a place we can talk freely about our sin, imperfections, and need for grace.
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The church is not just four walls that religious people enter to worship. It's composed of all God's imperfect people who generally call themselves "Christians." It's not a place; it's a beautiful puddle of broken people searching for hope, redemption, and grace. This is how I will be defining "church" throughout this article.

Sometimes Christians forget where their sin left them and fall into pride. When this happens, people outside the church look in and see a religious sect full of religious people who are only taking applications for religious, put-together individuals to join.

This is the church's greatest downfall.

It, and myself, need to remember that we didn't redeem ourselves from our sin. By the saving grace of Jesus Christ, our sin and its penalty was nailed to a cross where it will stay defeated. We must transform into humbly broken people that open up their hearts to vulnerability so that when people look at the church they say, "Oh, we aren't so different."

In order to make this happen, we, as a church, have to start talking about the imperfect areas of our lives and leave our religion and pride at the altar. Jesus never told us to "Go, and be perfect." So why do we try so hard to be that?

My greatest desire is that the church can open it's heart to its own imperfections and that we can start talking about:

1. Mental illnesses

You might be surprised by the number of people affected by mental illnesses. Approximately every 1 in 25 people suffer from a mental illness. So in an average congregation size of 150, 6 people suffer from mental illness and probably more with anxiety and/or depression.

It's easy to think that time and a lot of prayer will "heal" them, but mental illnesses are tricky. They are persistent. Many people make the mistake too of equating them with faith. I made this mistake with a friend of mine who was struggling with severe anxiety. The person may be drowning in his/her own thoughts but this in no way means that they have stopped hearing God.

When I asked a friend about his own personal struggle with depression, he agreed that if people within the church were wiling to talk about the issue instead of putting a "band aid" on it, others might have revealed their own struggle with depression and been able to help him through his.

2. Sex and sexuality

Let me define sexuality here as involvement in sexual activity that is not sex. This could be alone or with someone else. Either way, it's not a comfortable topic that is passed around in the church. Here's why it needs to be, though: We all have this desire. It's something that was instilled in every one of us at creation, but was distorted by the curse. We need to know how to handle it and told that it doesn't define us or our walk with Christ.

Also, sex. I get that the church wants to scare teenagers and make them think sex is a terrible thing so they won't do it. But can we talk about how beautiful it is between two people who are madly in love and bound together by the commitment they made to God at the altar?

3. Prejudice

We tip toe around it, but we can't avoid it. Prejudice is still prevalent in our culture. The church tells us that all God's people are created equal, which is true, but the conversation about prejudice needs to be deeper than that.

We should be asking questions like: How can the church create diversification in the congregation? What are ways that we can build relationships with every people group in the community? How can we show people that we are all broken and in need of a Savior?

4. Faults within the church's beliefs that don't correlate with the Bible

Each denomination has its own set of beliefs that sets it apart from the others. When the church was dividing and forming different denominations, their interpretation of the Bible determined their beliefs. Unfortunately, we will never be able to look at the Bible with clear intentions and read it without inflicting our own agenda. Therefore, no one denomination will ever be correct.

What we should do instead of trying to prove why our belief system is "the right one", is have open conversations and challenge what the church is doing or where it is headed. We should pray for clear eyes and open hearts that allow us to see our imperfections.

5. Grey areas

Grey areas are parts of our lives like financing, nutrition, intimacy (all the things that aren't sex) before marriage, and social media, that aren't discussed in the Bible. Therefore, we are left with the struggle of applying Christian principles that are discussed in the Bible to these areas.

The even bigger problem is, though, that we don't sit down and openly talk about them because once we do, we have to release them to God. I'm sure many of us could also call our grey areas "freebies" since we don't feel directly pressured by Biblical instruction to make a change.

6. Broken families

With a 50% divorce rate, I have to ask myself why this isn't discussed more by the church. Every single person has been affected by divorce in some way. Divorce isn't the only criteria for a broken family, though. Many children are raised without fathers. Some families are intact but are physically or emotionally abusive.

It doesn't matter if the person is middle class, lower class, or upper class. Broken families happen to white people and black people. They affect people with a steady job and those struggling to survive. As with prejudice, it's prevalence necessitates our discussion. When people start talking, others speak up and they realize they aren't alone. We can help each other through tough times if we just say something.

DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this article was to prompt discussion. I in no way claim to know how to fix these issues. I do know that as we open ourselves up, God's light will shine into our discussion and our lives. My prayer is that the church becomes a safe place for broken people of all races and social economic statuses.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-in-front-of-church-alter-226345/

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5 Things To Do When Your Professors Challenge Your Beliefs As A Christian

As long as you know God is FOR you, it doesn't matter who is AGAINST you.

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Being a Christian in our world today is very, very challenging. There are many misconceptions about our beliefs and our morals, as well as people who believe we don't practice what we preach.

As a college student, I've come across many professors who enjoy challenging my beliefs due to the "lack of evidence" or the "impossibility" of the circumstances. While it frustrates me to no end, I've had to learn that arguing and debating with people who don't believe in God is pointless. They aren't going to change their mind and there's no way a college student is going to change that.

Arguing will get you nowhere, people are going to believe what they want to believe and we can't change that. Instead of trying to debate with your professors, do these five things instead. I assure you, you'll get much more out of them than an argument.

1. Pray

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Pray to God to help you and your belief remain strong, but also pray that the Holy Spirit finds them and touches their heart. A heart that isn't filled with God is an awfully sad one.

2. Acknowledge that people don't always agree with your beliefs

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If someone tried to convince you that God isn't real, you're not going to listen to their points or anything else that they have to say. Acknowledge that people think differently and sometimes you can't change that. Only God can.

3. Drop the class

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This is really a last resort, but it's also understandable. I would hate to have to sit in a class where I felt personally attacked for over an hour each day. If you find yourself in this position, get OUT.

4. When things get too difficult-- bathroom break

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Sometimes all you really need is a breather. When the lecture gets too tough, ask to go to the bathroom, get some water, and say a prayer.

5. Read your Bible

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This is the most important one. Your bible has all of the answers, no matter the circumstance. If you find yourself unable to cope with the challenges the professor presents to you, open the bible and start reading. God will fill your heart and put your mind at ease.

It's hard enough feeling out of place in today's society, just because of your beliefs. Then to have someone constantly challenging everything you base your life off of? That's even more difficult!

But instead of arguing, choose one of these five things to do. It will be a much better use of your time and you'll feel much better about it than you would by arguing with someone.

Who knows, maybe one day God will touch their heart and things will be different. God's pretty powerful and can change things in an instant. Trust him.

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Dear Christians, Think Twice Before You Invite A Non-Christian To Your Church

It's important to be sensitive to the many faiths people around you adhere to.

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Christians,

I understand you sharing verses from the Bible comes from good intentions.

I understand you explaining to me the teachings of Jesus comes from good intentions.

I understand you inviting me to your church comes from good intentions.

The issue is that not everybody is as tolerant of your evangelical mission. In fact, many may see it as outright offensive.

"How dare you try to push your religious beliefs on me?"

"I don't appreciate your attempts to convert me."

"I'm satisfied with my own religion, thanks."

The above are just some responses you might unfortunately get, but it is important to understand why that's the case.

Christianity is, by all means, the most popular religion on the planet with followers from all corners of the globe.

With your faith having such a large following, people may see your mission to spread God's word as rather selfish — an attack, even, to not consider their faith.

Receiving this kind of response from someone when you meant only the best for them can occur with even the simplest actions — you can try inviting someone to your church and still end up making them uncomfortable.

I can admit there was one point in time I was in such a situation where my neighbor asked me to attend her church for Easter when she knew I was a Hindu. I was taken aback by her invitation. Religion was not something I considered to be a "show and tell" where you share it with others without them asking. I am glad to educate people about Hinduism, but only if they ask and are genuinely interested, otherwise I don't try and bring it up and teach it to others in case they become uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, Hinduism is one of the most liberal and tolerant religions out there. Hindus are allowed to visit other houses of worship, accept beliefs from other religions, and accept the fact that there are multiple supreme beings; there is no limit to how Hindus reach salvation.

I wasn't offended by her Christianity, but rather her disregard of how someone from a different faith may interpret her invitation.

I politely declined her invitation because at the time it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't understand her intentions. I have had moments in my life where I was encouraged to convert to Christianity, even offered money, which made me wary of the intentions of Christians around me who were very open about their religion.

Today, as a Hindu attending a private Christian university, I have had the opportunity to interact with Christians and understand why they like to promote their faith. It took quite some time and experience to educate myself about this, and I better understand where Christians come from when they talk about religion, but not everybody is so accommodating.

It is very important to understand that your beliefs are just that — beliefs. Beliefs are subjective and not everybody is going to agree with them or respect them.

You may have been taught to "go make disciples of all the nations," and you don't get to pick and choose which teachings of Jesus to follow, but understand that you assuming you're helping someone follow "the right path" may actually be pushing them away.

We appreciate your genuine care for us and your good intentions behind promoting your faith, but please be sensitive to how you talk about religion — even if it is inviting someone to your church.

Sincerely,

Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Atheists, and other non-Christian belief systems.

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