(This morning a member of the Facebook group I started, Thruway Christians, asked if I’d write a version of that group’s founding document for teens. [You can read the original document here.] I loved the idea—so here’s the teen version of that document.)
We’re Christians, for sure. But we think conservative Christianity is way too harsh, and liberal Christianity way too lame. So we’ve joined this thruway movement between them.
Here’s what we think:
- Jesus Christ was, and is, absolutely real. He performed miracles (duh: he was God); he sacrificed himself on the cross so that everyone could be forever reconciled with God; he rose from the dead; he left behind, for everyone, the Holy Spirit.
- Christianity is supposed to be all about living a life of love, compassion, fairness, peace, and humility. That’s it.
- The Bible isn’t just one thing. It’s a bunch of writings done by a ton of different people over about a zillion years. It’s poems, songs, history, allegories … the whole thing is just crazy dense. To really get whatever you’re reading in the Bible, you have to know something about whatever time and culture that part of it was written in. Also, the people who wrote the stuff that eventually made it into the Bible were just people. Through the Holy Spirit, God was definitely working through them as they wrote. But it only stands to reason that not every single word that made it into the Bible is exactly what God would have texted, or whatever. People who make the actual words of whatever translation of the Bible they’re looking at more important than the message of the Bible are totally missing the point.
- Church and state should be separate. Fair is fair.
- Paul rocks, no doubt. He’s the best. But it’s Christianity, not Paulianity.
- God’s not male or female. He’s both. He’s all. People who have to have God be a “he” need to let it go.
- The only way to think being gay is a sin is to never actually know any gay people.
- Where in “No one comes to the Father except through me,” does it say you have to be a Christian in order to get into heaven?
- If you’re worried too much about the afterlife, you’re not worried enough about this life. Living a life of love means not having to worry about hell.
- God wants to forgive and teach us, not judge and punish us.
- God can handle converting people. Our job is to love people.
- Divorce completely sucks. But the idea that God wants anyone to continue suffering in a hopeless, damaging marriage is ridiculous.
- God doesn’t want women “submitting” to anyone.
- Evolution being true doesn’t mean there’s no God. The two aren’t incompatible.
- What really matters most about a person isn’t how they define God. It’s how well they treat others.