On Monday October 30th– Tuesday October 31st, the Lutheran Center community celebrated the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses by Martin Luther. In doing this we placed a door outside the Union on city campus, painted with a Luther rose and a poster that stated,
Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, The Lutheran Center invites you to respond to the questions below by writing your experiences, concerns and/or questions on a piece of paper and nailing (i.e. pinning) it to the door. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
- In what ways have you experienced the Christian Church as untruthful?
- What is a major abuse of the Christians, Christianity or the Church?
- How has the Christian Church hurt you?
- In what ways has Christianity or the Church distorted the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Here are the responses we received from the many students that passed our door.
The church spends more on coffee and donuts than caring for the poor.
I don’t think a loving God would condemn LGBT+ individuals.
The fact that I am not a true Christian and less I do XYZ. Is my belief and faith not enough?
And abuse of Christianity is using the Bible to support racist or sexist views.
Religion and faith isn’t always perfect.
The text included in the Bible is arbitrary. Humans decided which books to include and which to exclude. Doesn’t this mean the Bible itself is not true? Is it holy or sacred?
Some Christian churches are welcoming but don’t allow them to participate in all activities. They often stick together within their communities which is bad because they are closed to new ideas/breaking tradition. They let you speak your mind; yet, don’t want you to question too radically.
Ted Cruz and Mike Pence. The fact that we need boundaries training for priests and pastors. The church’s inability to change for the good of the church.
The lack of roles for women within the church.
The pure division in beliefs among Christians has hurt my opinions because I don’t know how other Christians can interpret the Bible in ways that harm others.
Amount of money spent on stuff by the church while people go hungry across the country.
Hating LGBT+ youth.
The obsession of churches with money. The indifference of church parishioners. Unilateral rule of church councils. Politically influenced churches.
Non-Christians don’t feel as welcome as they should in the church. I feel like people are afraid of being judged, so they don’t try to go. Jesus accepted all, no matter the background.
Closed communion, Jesus told me to eat and drink. Who are humans to tell me not to?!
The amount of division between different denominations. Getting tied up with technicalities between different interpretations of the Bible.
We all pray to one God!!!
The church indoctrinates children.
The apostolic succession is just a way for Catholic Church to exclude and delegitimize Protestants.
Killing in God’s name.
How are you to say that “every life matters” when talking about an embryo but will gladly turn a blind eye to the real refugee and immigrant children?
The church has used the name of Jesus Christ as a way to exclude those the church deems unlovable.
Using righteousness to boast about your good deeds. Pushing down the good of other Christians who aren’t the “right” Christian.
Churches that profess to be affirming of LGBTQA+ people but don’t have diverse leadership/councils.
Too often the church is used as a “museum of good people” rather than hospital for the broken people.
I have found it untruthful because they make friends to just convert, that’s it. Friends are made without any motive. Major abuses that they disrespect other religions and they have superior complexes. They have hurt me by disrespecting my religious views and becoming friends with me to convert me. Like they wanted me to use me to convert others also.
It does not explain what happens after we die.
Indoctrination of children. Presenting something as truth concerning a matter with which there is no means to verify it to children is highly irresponsible.
Missionaries! Bibles do not fill empty stomachs; save lives and souls!
Hypocrisy toward others who do not follow the beliefs that are deemed “acceptable” by the church. Using Jesus to push their own agenda (don’t forget the “when I was poor, naked, in jail” parable by Jesus).
Justification of hateful acts.