Most people in American grew up with some connection to “the church” and to Christianity. Many, many people had just enough of a taste to reject it. I think that, when most people reject Christianity, they are rejecting the institution of the church.
People reject the principles they believe the church stands for and the hypocrisy they saw in the church. Indeed, I believe this because I was one of those people.
I have come to put that reality in perspective, however: the church, as most people perceive and know it, is a human institution. It is far from perfect. Every human frailty and weakness and shortcoming exists in the church – because people make up the church. That is the reality.
Further, the message that informs the church, the root and heart of it, the reason the church exists – the Gospel – is not always readily apparent in the church. Some churches are closer to the expression of it than others, but churches, generally fall short of the ideals of the Gospel.
I do not mean to point fingers at anyone or judge anyone. I think it is sufficient for purposes of what I am trying to say to assume that this is true to some degree or another in every church, even the best of them. I am going to say some things next that may make churchgoers upset, but bear with me.