I have been feeling better about God… so good that I turned on some Christian music and looked through some Christian books this afternoon. Bad decision.

Some friends and I have been talking about idolatry lately. I’m not sure that idolatry encompasses everything that some say it does, but I do know one thing: a whole lot lot of things that are sung, written, and preached about in Christianity have nothing to do with Jesus. It’s this pseudo-Jesus–and pseudo-Christianity–that I have so much difficulty with.

I can deal with a lot of the falsehoods. But when things start turning to this image of our lives being perfect when we believe in Jesus, I shut down. They sound so sure. And it sounds so great. But my first reaction to that isn’t “oooh, yes!” or “baloney.” It’s “Sure. God didn’t do that for me.” Then I shut down.

Some things are so fake, so unrealistic. Please just tell the truth. I want to understand and I want hope. But I’m not looking for hope for a perfect world or a perfect life, because the harsh reality is that’s not going to happen in this life. We’re broken, and living in a broken world. So don’t try to present your false hope to me, and never try to sell that as real Christianity.

I have questions. Who doesn’t? Perhaps the reason some people are so afraid of my questions is that they don’t want to admit that they’ve had them too… or that they might sometime. Or maybe they’re afraid that someday something could go desperately wrong for them, too. Maybe they’re afraid to consider that good people do get hurt in a sinful world, that belief in Jesus doesn’t mean that he’s going to protect them from life. Maybe they’re afraid that the soft little cocoons they’ve drawn around themselves might someday not be enough to prevent any difficulty… and maybe they’re afraid to admit that what they have is not faith in God–faith not that nothing will ever go wrong but faith that God will be with them through it even when it doesn’t seem like he is–but a false sense of security based on unbiblical but very prevalent religious beliefs.

So I have questions. Some are good, some maybe not so good. I think the main questions I have at this point, though, are these: How did American Evangelical Christianity get to this point? And what do those who can’t believe it anymore do now?