Monday, June 15, 2015

An Open Letter to High Schoolers

You have been fed a lie.

You have been asked to conform to a version of Christianity that more closely resembles Elizabethan Victorianism than anything actually found in the Bible.

You have been pressured, more than any Christian adults, to live a life of religiosity... not of grace. Not under Jesus' love and sacrifice for you, but under your own power.

What does a Christian look like? What are you told?

Don't drink. Don't party. Read your Bible. Every day. Listen to the right music. Go to youth group. Go to church. Tell people about Jesus at school. Go to college to be a witness to the world. Be an example by living above the standards of others. When you want a boyfriend or girlfriend, just be satisfied in Jesus... (what even is that?). And don't get me started on sex.

Christian adults put more pressure on high schoolers to live by the rules than they would ever place on themselves... definitely more pressure than they would place on any other adult they were trying to evangelize/convert/witness to.

Christian adults preach a message of salvation by faith alone... in a grace so big and good that it meets you where you are... not a salvation that says, "Congratulations, now you get to work harder." No. A salvation that says, "You're free."

Except apparently that doesn't apply to people under the age of 18. They need Jesus AND ___, ____, ___.

And then these Christian adults wonder why the high school student goes to college and "looses their faith." They blame the liberal and godless university. They don't realize that they themselves are to blame... for setting up a salvation based on how good you are, how hard you work, how well you follow the rules, how thoroughly you stand higher than the rest.
Does that sound like a relationship to you? Not one you'd want to be in.

You are the youngest brothers and sisters of the faith... so why are you held to the highest standard?

Why do adult Christians show more care for conforming you actions (to a standard higher than even they will adopt), than to shaping your heart with a higher love?

I'm sorry.
Sorry for the pressure.
Sorry for the lie that Jesus needs you to do it all.
Sorry for the picture of a relationship with Jesus that looks like slavery.
Brothers and sisters, he did it all. So. You. Can. Be. Free.

We have made you tired, frustrated, weary of Christ before you ever had a chance to fall in love with him.

Grace is for you too.

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