Monday, July 9, 2012

Babies and bathwater

Daniel Darling included an interview with Trevin Wax in his Real: Owning Your Christian Faith about some of the hazards that confront those of us who grew up in a church, i.e. "second generation Christians."  From the interview which can be found in full at Trevin Wax's blog:
Daniel Darling: What are the particular idolatrous temptations for those who grow up in the church?

Trevin Wax: I would say that the first temptation is the desire to live up to the standards set by the church community. For those in stricter churches that place a high value on obedience and morality and separation from the world, the Christian life often gets reduced down to a few things, such as how we look, whom we associate with, etc. ....

Daniel Darling: How would you counsel someone who has grown up in a context where methodology or preference has been placed on the same level as orthodox truth?

Trevin Wax: I’ve had numerous conversations with folks who grew up in those environments. You’re basically told that the Bible is true, Jesus is God, and women shouldn’t wear pants or something. The emphasis is on those three equally as if they were of the same nature.

Two things typically happen when someone leaves this environment. They see a vibrant spiritual walk with God by someone from another, less restrictive background and adjust their thinking and begin to separate what is true from what is merely preference.

Or they react in the opposite way. They think to themselves, I was lied to. Then they question everything: Is Jesus really God? Is the Bible really true? They basically feel as if they’ve been sold a bill of goods and have no capability to discern major Christian truth from a particular community’s standards.

The people able to separate the two usually come to appreciate the wider breadth of Christian expression within orthodoxy and they end up in a different church context. They are able to passionately serve the Lord and can move right along.

Those who have been offended by their background usually end up chucking their faith all together because they don’t trust anyone in religion at all, because their background doesn’t, to them, merit this trust. .... [more]
Growing Up in Church: An Interview with Trevin Wax – Trevin Wax