What a Charismatic Mennonite Learned in Theater School…

They make glorious shipwreck who are lost in seeking worlds.

-G.E. Lessing

You may have noticed this is my first post in a year.  This is because I suddenly had a problem with the name of my site.  Or rather, it had a problem with me.  It’s not that I didn’t have things to write about; it’s more that every time I would think of something I wanted to write, “live it real” would stare me in the face and say “say what you’re actually thinking.  That’s why you started this site, wuss”.  To which I would reply, “no, it’s too radical, nobody is going to like what I have to say, I don’t know how to say it”, etc.

However, I recently came to terms with the fact that “disliked radical ideas” are also often the seeds of revolutions.  So with that, I pose to you the following questions.

Do you want to make the world a better place?
At what cost?
What if it costs you your reputation?
Your friends?
Your family?
Are you willing to pursue truth and goodness no matter what the cost?  No matter where it leads?  Really?
And WHY do you have this odd ambition?

Ok.  Once you’ve got those answers, read on.

A Pew research study in November reported something that many of us may already have been aware of: the US public is becoming less religious.  http://www.pewforum.org/2015/11/03/u-s-public-becoming-less-religious/

Since 2007, the amount of religiously unaffiliated adults has risen 7%, church attendees have dropped 4%, those who say religion is “very important to them” has dropped 3%.  It’s a long report, and not entirely bad news for churchgoers, but it should be enough for us to take a good, hard look at the future of the church.  I’d also like to add that a 2010 survey found that it’s those under 30 who are most religiously unaffiliated (25% of the total population).

Being a 25-year-old senior theater major at a secular college in Philadelphia, I have had a front-row seat to understand the issues that today’s millenials have with religion.  This was, in fact, one of the reasons I came to college – to understand how the secular world worked.  Having grown up in the Mennonite church (my parents were both pastors for a time), gone to a charismatic Bible school in California for a year, and traveled on numerous international missions trips, I couldn’t understand how something I had found so great could be so disdained by my fellow young folks.

Well, I do now.  At least, I understand it a lot better than I did before.  And it’s turned my world upside down.

See, the church teaches you that the reasons people don’t want to become Christians is that Christians are hypocrites, gay-haters, pedophiles, shysters, and so on.  But from sitting close and listening to what people actually have to say for themselves, I’ve realized that the world’s view of Christianity is much more complex than I ever imagined.  As such, the answers to the questions I’ve had are also complex, lengthy, and not altogether pretty.

But I do have some answers.  And with the articles I’ll be publishing over the next few months, I’m going to share them with you.

I’m committing this next phase of liveitreal to Christians who have felt perpetually frustrated by the fact they were told that they could turn the world upside down with their faith, but have realized – when they’re truly honest with themselves – that they generally feel ineffectual, confused, and stagnant.  I’m writing for people who felt like the “thrill of the hunt” disappeared when the responsibilities of adulthood came crashing down on them.  And I’m writing for those who have felt alone in their walk because they’re felt that maybe they’re the crazy one for thinking that maybe there’s something wrong with church.  You’re not alone.  So come what may, I invite you on this journey.

One more thing.  Since the articles to come are intended mainly for Christians, I feel it necessary to outline 10 characteristics of truth according to the Bible, so I can show you how I’ve arrived at my discoveries.  I hope to show you that nothing I’ve discovered falls outside of the calling of the Spirit.  You may think this is overdoing it, but I’m saying these now so that you won’t come crying to me and calling me a heretic when I start to say what I have to say.  All I’ve done is take these ideas and run with them…a little farther than I think many of us have been willing to go.

You can find these characteristics at the link below:

Ten Characteristics of Truth.

 

And with that, we take our first step.  This journey will certainly lead us into the unknown, but if there’s one thing through all this that I have come to believe in even more, it’s that when we know the Truth, it will set us free.

“Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).

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