US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Hating Christianity

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It’s a gutsy approach: Trying to convince people to come to Christianity by telling them why you hated it. The Bible is boring, prayer doesn’t work, and Christians are judgmental, says Jason T. Berggren, a former punk rocker and ex-pastor in 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. These thoughts are in an interview with Berggren on an ABC video blog.

Berggren is a nondenominational Christian and makes the point that positive growth and faith can come out of negative experience and emotions. Is this a tactic that Catholics can take?

Here’s an extreme Catholic approach to reaching out to people on the edge: Hard as Nails Ministries. Many of the youth Justin Fatica reaches out to aren’t great Catholics (or Catholic at all, it seems) but are kids trying to find their way through a rough world full of violence, drugs and alcohol, sex and rape.

When I first saw clips of the HBO documentary on him, I thought he was a bit crazy. He admits to being intense, acting violently and yelling in his presentations to get kids' attention. Picking up his book, though, the main message seems to be “God loves you,” despite addictions and falls. Hardly controversial.

We’ve got Confession, but would it help others to publically declare our faults—our doubts and unhappiness about church or our sins against each other and ourselves? Might admitting and responding to imperfection make Catholicism a bit more appealing to non/lapsed Catholics?