Apparently, there's a new internet trend. A particularly dangerous one.
I haven't seen anyone do this personally. All of my social media friends are either from good churches or are Catholic relatives. But last night during online church, our pastor mentioned that publicly denouncing one's faith has become quite popular recently.
Honestly, I can understand why. In times of hardship, it's easy to ask, "Where is God in all this?" or "Why isn't God doing something to stop all this suffering?" People are confronted with questions they can't be bothered to seek answers for. They might engage in a bit of introspection or read an online article or two, but they don't pray about it. They don't find a good apologetic book to read or a pastor to talk to. They just give up.
I don't plan on giving up.
Living the Christian life isn't easy. There are questions that come up. There's a lot of discipline involved. At the moment, I'm struggling with my prayer life--in the words of C.S. Lewis, my imagination exceeds my obedience, and I often find my focus wandering. Couple that with a mom and a pastor who are both great at praying, and add a dash of comparison and perfectionism, and you've got yourself a delicious recipe for self-loathing.
But despite my struggles and my questions and the disciplines that I sometimes excel at and sometimes fail at, I try to keep pressing forward. Forgetting the past and struggling to lay hold of a better relationship with God. More influence in His Kingdom.
I'm not angry with the people who are engaging in this internet trend. I'm sort of sad. A bit perplexed. Part of me wants to hold out my hands and smile sadly and say, "Why did you give up so soon? Why didn't you fight? Why didn't you ask for help? There's plenty of help--I'll help you find some--just keep fighting, dear one!"
C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity and Gregory A. Boyd's Letters from a Skeptic are two great apologetic books to read if you're struggling with the faith. Victory Life Church has some great online services if you're still quarantined. Ravi Zacharias, who recently passed away, also wrote some great resources. And if you have any questions that can be answered by a college student with a Bible, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the "Contact" tab above.
Heck, if you're comfortable with it, post your questions in the comment section! It might help other people who have the same question, but aren't quite ready to ask it yet. God bless you, dear readers, and never lose hope! The storms will part, the sun will rise, and we'll step blinking and laughing into the brightness again.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.