I wrestled all night with the situation that happened in Colorado. Prior to going to sleep I spent an hour or more reading the post from Matthew Murry. The pain and hurt this young man held inside is haunting me.
I think this is because some of his critique is valid. If you wade through the words and pain this young man wanted to find a place to explore his spirituality. According to him he was raised in a regimented life of an evangelical family. His mother was given a prophecy that her son (Matthew) was going to be a great prophet (something like John the Baptist). He was ridden with this pressure his entire life.
I am not condoning his actions at all. I have be lamenting the seemingly common hurt and distance that I witness in many young folks that have kept them away from the church.
Matthew describes his time with the mission organization with an “me vs. them” attitude. This is also prevalent throughout his rants. It scares me here…I feel the pressure of belonging and the cultishness of being perfect and that I will never get any respect unless I am beautiful, thin, pretty, handsome, and cool. It burns a bitter coal in my heart. I have never thought to react in violence. This is where Matthew and I diverge.
My heart goes out to all involved in this tragedy. It sucks all around. It has weighed heavy on my heart. I do not know anyone personally that was involved. It has captivated me. It has gotten me wondering about how the church can respond to folks like Matthew. Is there a place for kids that are aloof, isolated, and angry?
I imagine that Matthew will not be the only hurting evangelical kids out there. The responsibility one must shoulder to maintain ones salvation in this system is tremendous. I personally still wrestle with sins that I may or may not be forgiven of. It is like walking of egg shells every moment of everyday of your life. It is not healthy.
This has lead me to a couple of questions. I am wondering how the “church” can respond to the youth that is growing up in a pluralistic religious culture with love, acceptance, relevancy, and honesty. What does a ministry of service and mission look like in this context?
My prayer for today…
Only you understand what is going on in this world. Truth is found in you. I pray you bless us this day with peace and the heart to love each other as you love us. Let us leave the judging heart at the gate of your Kingdom. Grant us the courage to be your people in spite of our fears, insecurities, bitterness, greed, and hate. Forgive us for the things we do in your name and for the things we do not do for your name. Give us strength to be. In the name of Jesus the Christ we ask these things radiate from all of your creation. Amen