I Love Jesus, I Hate Christianity
We must desire the despised One, in his humiliation, submitting to our own suffering with him. Kierkegaard lived in different times. We do not live in a Christian culture — not at all!
Ours is post-Christian, even hostile to Christianity. Not if you come to Christ glorified without the possibility of offense. You see, while Christ is now glorified, the church is not.
If Jesus was despised for eating with sinners, we are those sinners. Perhaps more of the offense. Yet through us, God makes his offensive call; we are that offense of the gospel. You do not understand the gospel call. To come to Christ exalted, one cannot bypass the offense — his church unglorified.
Meet Those Who “Love Jesus but Not the Church”
Although a person can initially come to God without the church, no one can stay with God while rejecting the church. The former reflects the glory of Christ alone; the latter is a rejection of the offense. Christ said he was God, but the very fact that he was also a man was the offense. He had no sin, but nothing attractive either — not to a Jewish world waiting for a powerful redeemer.
Can we really love Jesus AND hate religion? — Finding Christ[in]a Story
That is still the case today. One cannot walk around the perimeter wall of the church, trying to avoid the contamination of the sinners in it, as if to find another way to God. To come to Christ is to love his very messy and not-yet-glorified bride. Pagan Church Kierkegaard lived in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Crown Without a Cross What is this secular paganism? Though Millennials are the least churched generation, they are also the least likely to either identify as Christian or say faith is very important to their life, explaining their underrepresentation among this group.
Elders are underrepresented for the opposite reason—they are the generation most likely to attend church regularly. Orthodox Belief Despite Church Absence Despite leaving the church, this group has maintained a robustly orthodox view of God. In every case, their beliefs about God are more orthodox than the general population, even rivaling their church-going counterparts. Positive, if Amorphous, Views of Religion Despite their apparent discomfort with the church, this group still maintains a very positive view of religion.
Do You Love Jesus, But Not the Church?
But the story changes slightly when it comes to the distinctiveness of Christianity: In the absence of a rigid religious identity provided by the authority of the church, this group appears to be more affirming of the claims of other religions and open to finding and identifying common ground.
But one thing they do share is a sense of spirituality. But unlike practicing Christians and evangelicals, this spirituality is deeply personal—even private—with many preferring to keep spiritual matters to themselves: When asked specifically about evangelizing—whether they personally have a responsibility to tell others about their religious beliefs—the differences are even more striking. Informal Paths to God This group still actively practices their faith, albeit in less traditional ways. This all points to a broader abandonment of authoritative sources of religious identity, leading to much more informal and personally-driven faith practices.
They still love Jesus, still believe in Scripture and most of the tenets of their Christian faith. But they have lost faith in the church. The critical message that churches need to offer this group is a reason for churches to exist at all. Churches need to be able to say to these people—and to answer for themselves—that there is a unique way you can find God only in church.
And that faith does not survive or thrive in solitude. Comment on this research and follow our work: About the Research Interviews with U. The survey was conducted November , The sampling error for this study is plus or minus 2.