An Open Letter To A Non-Believing Teen

If I introduced myself to you as a Christian, there are certain words that will almost certainly come to mind:

Hateful.

Judgmental.

Bigot.

Rude.

Closed-minded.

I’m not here to try and argue my way out of these claims or what the Church has done. I’m simply here to say one thing: sorry.

Sorry for the times when Christians have not practiced what they preach. Sorry for the times when you have been excluded because of your different views. Sorry for the signs that have been brandished in your face screaming “God hates homosexuals.” Sorry for the judgments, the rudeness, and the closed-minds. Sorry.

I’m tired of the Church placing the blame on young people because to be quite frank, I don’t blame you for choosing drugs over Church, parties over prayer, and drink over the Bible; because we haven’t shown you a better alternative. Why would you want to choose a list of rules over a world without any? I really, truly, don’t blame you. I have been in that place, even as a Christian. I have wanted to run away from the establishment we call Church because it has become a dry place full of lists and rules and regulations instead of a living, breathing piece of artwork where we are the canvas and God is the artist.

But I don’t only say sorry. I also ask for forgiveness.

The Church is not a building - it is a group of broken, fractured people. We are not God. And we shouldn’t have ever claimed to be. We are humans, just like you are. We make mistakes. And it breaks my heart to see just how many we have made. So I ask for your forgiveness.

The real Jesus wouldn’t hold a disgustingly hateful sign declaring that God is going to destroy you because of your sexuality. I can promise you that He wouldn’t.

How do I know that?

Jesus went to parties with unbelievers. He ate with prostitutes and tax collectors. He spoke with people of all races, genders, and ages in a time when even being seen with someone regarded as different could have had Him outcast.

In the days when He was alive, Jesus would not be considered a ‘good man.’ He broke the rules, He pushed the boundaries, and He did whatever He needed to do to love people.

Jesus broke down borders, overlooked differences, and loved EVERYBODY.

And He called the Church to do the same.

And we haven’t.

If the whole Church collectively did what Jesus did, this would be a very different letter. We wouldn’t have to TELL you why Jesus is incredible because we’d be SHOWING you.

And I’m not here to say that all churches have failed, because there are many amazing things happening, things that are being done out of selfless love instead of irrational hate.

But I am here to say three simple words: Jesus. Loves. You.

I don’t care if some Christians have said otherwise because believe me, it’s true.

He loves you regardless of your sexuality, your race, your gender, your age, your political views, your religion, your past, your mistakes, and your beliefs - JESUS. LOVES. YOU.

I’ve written this letter in the hope of three things: that you’d hear my apology on behalf of the Church, that you’d forgive us by understanding our fractured human nature, but perhaps most importantly, that you’d give Jesus a second chance.

Because He is very different to what most have portrayed.

He will never ignore you.

He will never point the blame.

He will never walk out.

He will never give up on you.

He will never hate you.

Because when all else fails, including the Church, Jesus never will.

And maybe, just maybe, if we brought the following piece of Scripture out into the public more, then more of Jesus’ mission would be revealed:

‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’ (John 3:17 NIV)

Inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zng2piCy4RA

 

Alice is 18 and from England. She gave her life to Jesus about 5 years ago, and was baptized in July 2015. She feels that she is called to creative evangelism after receiving many prophecies from various people. She's a keen musician, photographer, writer, and speaker, and she hopes to involve all of these passions when sharing the love of Jesus to the world. She looks forward to moving to a city to attend university, engrossing herself in youth culture and wider communities.