Christianity can be toxic at times.
Churches can be demanding, and Christians can hold expectations over others in dangerous ways.
(Please note that I wrote “can be,” as in, this does happen, but I am saying it is always this way. Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes.)
As a pastor, I’ve seen a lot of the worst. And, I’m afraid, in my early years, I probably contributed to the toxicity.
There was a time where I didn’t worry about taking time away from my family or prioritizing church activities and events over my family. After all, I was “working for God,” and my family needed to understand how important that was.
I’m not writing this to criticize churches or Christians.
If this isn’t your experience and you are bothered by it and want to rush to criticize or correct this article, you should pause and ask yourself why that is.
Why are you uncomfortable with allowing people to have their own experiences?
Why do you feel like you have to defend the church?
This is called spiritual bypassing. We bypass the real situation when we don’t allow people to feel what they really feel, or to grow the way they need to grow.
If you are experiencing toxicity or feeling as though you can’t ask questions or describe your real experience, take some time for yourself. Take care of yourself. Pray, and trust your own intuition on what you hear.
If you are angry by this article, stop being part of the problem. Let people be who they are. You don’t have to have all the answers, and you especially don’t have to have all the answers for someone else.
Everyone needs to be true to themselves.
If this resonates with you, or you are struggling with either polarity, reach out to me and let’s take a deep dive toward wholeness.