I used to read those Christian girl magazines when I was younger. Pages of tips on boys and make-up and modest dress interwoven with articles on how much you should tithe or Christian musicians and the occassional Bible reading plan. Eventually, the editor canceled my subscription because I had an issue with some of their content and we got into an e-mail argument over it.
Anyways, that pretty much shaped my view of Christianity. Not that it was run by egotistical overly-defensive editors rather, that it was a Christian life which was filled with normal life stuff like applying eyeshadow and doing “Define the Relationship” talks (so maybe thats not so normal) with a bit of Christianity interwoven. Not the mainstay of your life by any means, but the 15 minutes in the morning for Bible reading, an hour or two for youth group, and tithing at the Sunday morning worship service.
Because I was a good little homeschooled grew-up-in-the-church girl, I followed the expectations and read my Bible in the mornings. Its a dangerous thing to give a literalist 12 year old who devoured books a Bible. I was told to believe it and thats exactly what I did. Except it didn’t paint the same picture my Christian magazines were painting. It wasn’t telling me which Christian fiction book series about the Amish to read. It wasn’t telling me how many inches my shorts were supposed to be above the knee. It was telling me to love always and to pray continually and live every day, no, every second, for the glory of the God. Something wasn’t meshing for me.
Throughout highschool, I was content with the Christian life. I really enjoyed it even. I was content to believe that what I was doing was enough, because after all, one can’t always be praying can they?
I started reading the Bible again.
After a while, I couldn’t keep lying to myself. I had to accept the Bible for what it said or not at all. I started reading these books like Do Hard Things and Crazy Love and I finally found someone else that saw a disconnect between Christian living (it sounds like a Marthat Stewart brand) and what the Bible was saying.
Now, its easier than ever to completely live for God. I’m surrounded by church, discipleship groups, classes on the Bible, prayer groups, worship nights, prayer partners. It’s also harder than ever to be authentially living and radical in a bubble where the basics are already being met. I’m only at college for a season. God didn’t call me to live completely for Him for four years, He called me for life.
I’m reading another radical Christianity book right now. I watched the Passion 2012 stream last night. Yet I was talking to my friend and we both agreed that if we actually tried some of the radical love and trust in God that these people talk about, most Christian adults we know would discourage us.
What do they know that we don’t? I hear these ideas of living fully for God dismissed as a phase young Christians go through. Do we turn 30 and suddenly get to ignore those radical parts of the Bible? Does God stop convicting us to live completely for Him? I see this generation ready to be different but I think we need some adults too. Its too easy to be caught up in the hype and we need those are wiser to ground us.