You have to believe it, and you hate it. I don't have to believe it, and I think it is beautiful.
The above quote is one that I wrote down in my journal from "Bridge to Teribithia. The scene is the boy in the movie has invited the new girl, Leslie, who moved into the house next door to church. They are riding home and Maybell, the younger sister is sounding off. Maybell apparently is not to fond of church. Perhaps she is too young to understand, or maybe she has just fallen into the trap of participating without belonging. She has found religion, but not a love for the God of that religion.
I wonder how these words apply to many in the church today. We see people leaving churches and organized religion in droves. Is it because God has failed or has religion gotten in the way? Do we feel the pressure of having to be perfect on the outside, while inwardly we know the truth? Does our enthusiasm wane when we just can't play the part anymore? Is that really what God has in mind for us?
Maybell had to believe it. Her parents made her go to church, and she resented it and all of the trappings that went along with it. Leslie saw something different. Instead of condemnation, she saw forgiveness. Instead of rules to obey, she saw freedom. Instead of outer obedience, she felt the inner response to the tug of God on her heart.
Which does your church sell? Which do you buy?