Make Christianity Hard Again
The ironic part is that Christianity is difficult. The way of Jesus is the way of the cross. So don’t talk about it like we just need to be nice people.
I grew up in a very interesting strain of Christianity. Now, I don’t know if this was the explicit teaching of my church or just what I felt, but it seemed like the overall message of a Christian’s duty was, “don’t sin, attend church, read your Bible, and tell others about Jesus.”
Now, all of those are incredibly important things. But I think what tended to happen was telling people about Jesus was paralyzingly scary, mostly because most of us didn’t know where to begin. (Do you hand them a tract? ask them if they know where they will go when they die? Just be kind around them until they ask you about your faith?) Church became routine, the Bible became something to know, and the sins we were supposed to avoid ended up being relegated to avoiding “big sins” (a category in which I tended to move the goalposts a lot).
But when you treat Christianity like that, it is actually not very difficult. Just be a generally nice person. But the real problem with this type of Christianity is that it becomes eye-wateringly boring. You don’t actually have too much to do. Maybe you block out your Sunday mornings and your Wednesday nights. But the rest of your life you functionally live like a fairly moral non-christian.
So, my hunch is that most people with this vision of Christianity are not disengaged because it is really difficult. Rather, people disengage because this version of Christianity seems boring. Now it might seem like the solution to this is to try to make Christianity fun. But I think that is going in the wrong direction. I think that the right move is to make Christianity hard.