Why We’re Leaving Church

Brian McLaren wrote this piece on his Patheos blog. It was published a couple of weeks ago, though I just happened upon it yesterday via a link from Greg Garrett, a former professor of mine.

This hits right on the nerve of where my previous post on Church and the “Nones” came from.

I won’t comment too much on it here, as I think the original (and it’s not too long!) is worth reading in full. The main – and really only claim – he makes is that [institutional] Christianity has become expert at building walls, instead of opening arms to welcome.

This is what one of the audience members told McLaren:

We’re still followers of Christ, but we’re not attending church any more. We can’t find a church that doesn’t load a bunch of extra baggage on us. We tried, but they all had this long list of people we had to be against. It’s just not worth it.

Christianity is now better known for the ways it excludes people, for the messages it sends followers and potential followers that we must hate and reject others. The very heart of the message of Christ is grace and forgiveness, but for lots of reasons that is not the character of Christianity.  And that is heartbreaking.

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