Why should I still be a Christian in 2020?

Chris Nye
9 min readSep 4, 2020

Of all the things we pastors tell you that you must “make peace” with — your past, your own struggles and weaknesses, the church — we rarely explain to you that, one day, you’ll have to make peace with the faith itself. You’ll need to make peace with the various ways “Christianity” will fail you. The closest we get is acknowledging the shortcomings of “the Church” in general, but it must be said: the faith itself is a complicated beast, and making our peace with the label “Christian” will be work we will need to do. I suppose we can start now.

To be a Christian is to, unfortunately, find yourself a part of a “body” — a very complicated, disorganized mass of people. This conglomeration of individuals includes percentages that do not represent us often at every level. The work of “I’m not one of those Christians” is only made more exhausting when the internet audience you’re arguing with rarely leaves, always grows, and never forgives. No wonder we resign to despair. The reasons to not be a Christian are many, and, like an unimaginative bean dip, there might be three layers to our discouragement right now in the West: political, cultural, and historical.

Statistics about how “Christians” or “evangelicals” vote can make us feel alienated from people we grew up with or go to church with. That’s politics. A whole mess, but you know what I mean. The cultural layer includes the customs that surround the label “Christian” — the music, the preaching, the painful graphic design, the expected (and unexpected) nomenclature, the style, the “basic-ness” of a church’s attempt to be relevant: wood pallet backgrounds and Edison bulbs — it’s all so predictable (and I’ve done it all). These annoying and often agonizingly desperate attempts to reach “young people” are more attractive to people trying to stay young than actual adolescents. Seeing right through the attempts, we are led out the door, or wishing we could get there past the fog machine.

And then there’s the political and cultural history, of which continues to mount as the internet builds her dumpster fire of media content until the Last Days. Every morning there’s a new tweet or video about something horrific in the past that the faith is connected to, either implicitly or explicitly. It can be terribly discouraging.

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Chris Nye

Living in Portland, Oregon with my wife and son. Doctoral candidate at Duke University. Author of a few books: chrisnye.co/books