I grew up in a strict Christian household. That meant church every Sunday and Wednesday, Bible daycare and praying every morning and night. God has always been a big part of my life and though many of my friends have decided to stop believing or stop living out a quote on quote “Christian” lifestyle, I’ve always tried to stay true to my religious values. I’m not going to lie when I say it’s very difficult, bordering on distressing and many times I have considered how much easier life would be If I had never grown up in the church. I thought being a Christian in a bible belt was hard but ever since starting college it’s been as tough as ever. I’ll never stop believing in Jesus, but here are some reasons why being a Christian in college kind of sucks.
1. Being a Christian is so not cool.
Or at least that’s how we feel when we tell someone we are a Christian and are looked at cross-eyed, like we just said we like to grow potato trees on the weekends in our tutu’s. Because, well, being a Christian is so not cool. People assume that if you are a follower of Christ that means in between going to church, mission trips and after babtizing ten children we go home and pray for fifty hours, listening to gospel music as we pray for all of the heathens out there that are doomed to burn in hell for eternity. But the truth is, most us Christians are doing normal stuff like going to our jobs, eating, talking to friends, breathing, masturbating (oh crap we’re not supposed to be doing that one!) and other normal, everyday stuff. Being a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean we AREN’T going out dancing or hooking up, or doing other quote on quote ’sinful’ things. Thank God He forgives!
2. People think Christians are perfect.
Or at least that we are trying to be. I think some people take the “being like Christ” thing too literally. Not all of us Christians are spending all of our time trying to figure out how to turn water into wine. We are just living our lives as best we can while at the same time practicing our religion just like any other religious person. I personally don’t represent a perfect Christian at all. I swear, I can be pretty cruel when I want to, I listen to raunchy rap music. I don’t represent what a ‘perfect’ Christian is supposed to be but that doesn’t mean I’m going to throw away my faith completely. It’s like some people love to watch Christian people mess up…that’s why I feel most believers of Christ don’t like to tell anyone (hell, it’s easier being a Belieber than a believer these days!). As soon as we do we get to become the prime example for all Christians out there and the minute we do anything un-holy-like we get to be called a hypocrite.
3. People want to un-convert us.
I don’t know when it became cool to not be religious at all, but for us Christians who are just trying to keep the faith, I speak for all of us when I say, please just let us believe! It’s as if some people think we are stuck in a looney bin somewhere and they need to break in and save us like superman. If we are over the age of, I don’t know? Ten years old, we are old enough to be making a conscious decision about following Christ. If you say you are any other religion, it’s mostly met with indifference (maybe because the person you are talking to has no idea what your religion actually is) but since for some reason everyone thinks they are an expert on Christianity they also think they are the chosen one who is supposed to save us and un-convert us from our sad, oppressive lifestyle.
4. People assume we are all radical.
No, not every Christian person is on a college campus in a button-down teeshirt waving around a bible yelling out things about hell and condemnation. That is a certain select group of Christians that feel like that is the best way to get people to follow Christ. Not all of us are protesting on the side of the street with a picket-sign that says “God hates f***”!”. Just because some Christians have taken it a few twenty steps too far, doesn’t mean all of us are like that. Heck, most of us are like transformers: Christians in disguise! Most likely because we’re terrified to let it be known that we follow Christ since there is such a stigma behind it now.
5. Christianity is pretty tough.
There are a lot of things we are not supposed to do that are the main things to be doing, especially in college. To the Christians that are actively living by every rule in our Bible, I commend you. It’s not easy, and most of us are just doing the best we can following the easier ones (thou shalt not lie comes into mind, I fail that one every time my parents ask how I’m doing in school). But we’re trying and that’s all that matters.
6. What the Bible says vs. what everyone else says.
I think the most challenging part about being a Christian is figuring out, personally, what stance we have on certain political and social issues. The Bible that we are taught from is pretty clear about certain things, and when those things come up in debate, for many Christians that’s the time when we have to decide whether or not we are going to stand up for what we are taught, or what we personally think. I’m sure this is why a lot of people choose to follow other religions or not have one at all. It can get pretty tricky.