The Reason Why People LEAVE Christianity

So, why do people leave Christianity? With it nearing upon back-to-school season, hopeful young people all across America are readying a return to their secularist education in the hopes of one day successfully climbing that corporate ladder, and becoming the consumer statistic they’ve always wanted to be. Right? And in light of the prospect of finally entering into our “equality” based, homogenized society where the role models are Dr. Seuss and Miley Cyrus, we have to wonder. Is there more to life than this? Even if we encourage our young people to go out and leave the world a better place – ultimately, what’s the point? Leave behind wealth, sure…but to whose benefit? And be a good person of course…but by what standard and why?

Christianity, cartoon, comic strip, Psalm 14:1, atheist, God

Christianity once provided Western Civilization with foundational truth towards family, government, law, scientific progress, art and more – but over the years leftist/progressives and even some on the right have sought to remake society into one where the only belief is the belief in yourself or some ambiguous greater good. And for the most part, it’s working. Because as many of the nation’s young people will affirm, since there’s nothing particularly important about Christianity, why get worked into a lather about it? Isn’t it okay if everyone has a different view of the truth?

As Californian Richard Wade of the Friendly Atheist website’s motto says, “Agreement is not important – only understanding is.”

This is why the “Church” of Unitarian Universalists holds such great appeal to the growing number of folks who abhor fundamentalist thinking. Here, where greater emphasis is placed on a dogma-free environment, rather than a possibly messy truth, people can feel like they’re asking questions without imposing answers, and explore ideas on social justice and community. And for Ross Harvey, an atheist of North Vancouver (British Columbia), the Unitarians were exactly the “social glue” he’d been looking for. Says Psychology Today, “Just three years earlier he had confided to his wife that he wished there were a ‘church you could go to where you sang and heard inspirational talks and you didn’t have to get into all that other nonsense'”. Nonsense which, ironically enough, has instilled millions of people throughout the history of the world with a very solid foundation for social justice and community service. It’s just not what people like Mr. Harvey want to hear.

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But it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that under the watch-care of the Department of Education and Institutions of so-called “higher” learning, that the western individual has increasingly grown mistrustful of the more traditional teachings of Christian doctrine. Where we once had the Ten Commandments, we now have the doctrines of statism and a secularist facade of equality. Where once we kneeled to say our bedtime prayers, we now “pray” to the god of government to create a more perfect society. And where we once understood God as the Supreme Lawgiver and Savior of Humanity, we now consider the great spirit of options and open-minded investigation. Especially when it comes to teaching the next generation.

Wendy Thomas Russell, author of Relax It’s Just God, believes that a lot of adults struggle with being honest with their children, while striving to avoid religious “indoctrination” and scary beliefs or putting them into a position to be made fun of or hurt. She recommends that we teach our kids “the difference between fact and faith, between dogma and freethinking” – but then let them take it from there. However, while this may seem like an enlightened approach, parents certainly wouldn’t allow a child to climb into a cage full of tigers simply to affirm that child’s decision and drive to explore. So in light of this, why wouldn’t a parent guide their children into successful adulthood by providing them with the wisdom and truth they learned from their parents? Is it because society relegates anything perceived as “old” as full of musty ideals that can’t hold a candle to our deep knowledge of celebrity gossip and an unsurpassed knowledge of television trivia?

Ultimately however, is it really about truth? Or is it simply about doing what we want – and the consequences be damned? Never mind that the answer to “how could a loving God condemn people to Hell” lies in our own rebellious nature, or that horrors like the Holocaust happened not because of God – but because of each individuals’ own willingness to call evil good in order to fulfill their selfish desires. In the meantime, because it’s more fun to pursue sex and buy toys, the answer to these important questions and more will likely never be discovered as long as people willingly, or out of ignorance, stick Truth into their own little musty closet of Relativism. However, let’s face it. Truth exists whether we choose to believe in it or not. And sort of like Captain Picard on Star Trek, it doesn’t require our belief to make it so.

Article quotes from Psychology Today, June 2012, The Atheist at the Breakfast Table, By Bruce Grierson

 

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Artist Interview: Taylor Overbey

taylor overbey, interview, artist, christian, christianity, GLADAxiom Illustration recently had the privilege of speaking with Taylor Overbey (TO), a veteran illustrator and writer with an extensive array of impressive work! From fine art to children’s books, how-to books, cartoons (including the GLAD Christian Humor magazine) and more, Overbey is a fascinating individual who works at finding creative ways to share a unique message with our world! In the interview below, he shares many of his fascinating experiences as an artist, author and much more. Enjoy!

Axiom: Thanks for talking with us! First off, what could you tell our audience about your work? TO: I work in a variety of mediums and styles. This is probably due to the fact that I love so many different ways of making art, and also how unique of a message can be communicated in each of these methods.

For instance, there is a difference between oil painting and comic books. I love both. However, oil painting is considered to be more of a “serious art” and comics are considered more of a form of entertainment. So my message in an oil painting might convey some deeper, more thought-provoking subject, or it might be something simply beautiful, or even what a particular viewer may consider confrontational. A comic story, or a children’s book can usually be read and enjoyed purely for the entertainment value, but still may have a certain message that comes through. Being a Christian I believe that my faith somehow bubbles to the surface in all of my work.

Axiom: How did you get started in this area? TO: When I was in 3rd grade my teacher had the class write stories based on one of several photographs she would hang on the wall. She always loved my stories, and would have me read them aloud to the class. But she didn’t want me to show them to my parents because she was afraid they would take me to a psychiatrist! I don’t recall the stories being weird at all, just very imaginative, and I certainly loved the reaction I got from the class. That was probably how I developed a love of making up stories.

OverbeySNITMy first big break came when I was about 26. My father helped me start a comic publication called, GLAD-The Christian Humor Magazine. It was styled off of MAD, which, at the time was one of my favorite things to read. Every other month we had 32 pages to fill up with stories and art, so I had to come up with 6 to 15 pages every issue. We had a good run. GLAD went for about 3 years, 17 issues in all. I did make up a color version that is on IndyPlanet.com.

I just had my first children’s book published. It’s called, “The I-Wants and the Gimmies,” and it is released by Crimson Dragon Publishing in Aurora, CO. I have another children’s book I am working on for them called, “The SNIT and George Franklin Whit.” I really enjoy writing and drawing the children’s stories because they are playful and fun, but I still endeavor to sneak in a positive message. For instance, “The I-Wants and the Gimmies” is about sharing, and “The SNIT” is about our being in control of our anger.

If I had to choose favorite thing to do it would be hard to decide, I just love making art. But I do think that GLAD would come pretty close to the top. I like telling people about Jesus Christ in a way that isn’t heavy handed or preachy. Humor and the Bible is a challenge to combine, because on the one hand I don’t want to be too frivolous with the subjects, but I also don’t want to be heavy handed. I think that in general I came pretty close. Not perfect, but close.

2familiesAxiom: Do you have any favorite books, movies, artwork, games, etc that you find inspiring? TO: I do read a lot. I still need mentors, but there aren’t a whole lot of them where I live, so I read books. I just finished Frank Capra’s autobiography called, “The Name Above the Title.” For your readers who don’t know Capra he was the director of the Christmas classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stuart and Donna Read. I consider Capra a mentor because I find his message something that I can relate to, and it is missing from today’s movies. His message was, the little guy triumphs over the odds in spite of the evil people and obstacles he faces, but he was able to communicate that without outrageous sex scenes and gore. And now Mr. Capra is no longer living. So I can watch his films and read his books to learn from him. I’ve done much the same with Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.

The first thing I do read in the morning is either the Bible or an inspirational book written by a Christian minister or writer. I’ve read a number of books by John Eldredge and now I’m reading a book by Joseph Prince. When I fill my mind with these uplifting ideas in the morning I find here it keeps me going all day long.

OverbeybreadcircusesAxiom: Do you have any interesting stories regarding the work you’ve already done in this area? TO: One thing that happened was after I finished writing and some of the art work for “The I-Wants and the Gimmies” I sent out query letters to about 50 publishers. I never heard back from any of them. Not one! Then one day while I was teaching an art class in Grand Rapids I asked my assistant if I could show her some children’s book illustrations I was working on. She said, “Sure.” Well, she looked at them and said, “You should send these to my mom. She has a publishing company and she’s looking for children’s book authors. She’ll get back to you in 3 days.”

I had a very hard time believing any of what she said. My experience with publishers was that if you didn’t have an agent you couldn’t get in the door. And if you weren’t published you couldn’t get an agent, so, it was next to impossible to break into that business. But I decided to take her up on it and I sent the story and some drawings to her mom. Well, sure enough, within 3 days she got back to me and wanted to send me a contract. Then last week I got a box full of the books sent to my doorstep. Crimson Dragon is a small and new publisher, but I look at them like David and the Giant.

So, if you are doing something you love, like writing, painting, drawing, or whatever–I believe that the right doors will open for you if you don’t give up. You’ve got to keep working at your craft, of course, to continually get better at it. But like Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never, give up!”

symptomsAxiom: What’s some of your goals for the future while working in this area? TO: My goal is to have 100 children’s books published in my lifetime and have the messages in my stories influence the culture for generations to come. I’d also like to publish GLAD again, I’m just not sure there is a market for it.

Axiom: Do you have any recommendations or thoughts on how Christian creatives can get involved in their community? TO: I would suggest joining Christian art groups on Facebook. I started a group called, “The Christian Art Society,” but there are many others. If you belong to a church there may be other creative people who want to meet and support each other, or, if there are not enough interested people in your church maybe you could find interested people in the community in which you live.

We also need to be able to show our work. Perhaps you could host a Christian art show at your church or at a restaurant or coffee house. Many times Christians don’t want to go to art museums because they are sick and tired of looking at “art” that is nothing but a big put down of everything they hold dear. The unbelieving liberals who own galleries and direct museums believe their vision of what art is is the only right way. Christians need to make art work that represents their values, morals, and beliefs, and show it, and invite the community to come and see.

Most of all we all need mentors. That is someone who is doing what you want to do that you can learn from. If there is no one near you then start by reading books written by or about people whose work you admire. But here’s a word of warning: Don’t look for perfection! There was only one perfect man, and he was raised from the dead and is now seated at God’s right hand. Everyone else will disappoint you if you expect them to align perfectly with what you personally believe, or behave exactly as you would have them do. Just learn from them: what did they do to get where they are? What motivates them? What books do they read? And so forth.

cover3Axiom: Where can readers find out more about your work? TO: GLAD, the Christian Humor Magazine is available as a free digital download or can be ordered as a hard copy at Indy Planet. “The I-Wants and the Gimmies” is available from Amazon.com or Crimson Dragon Publishing. One of my biggest goals is to start an art school for conservative Christians. I can hear some people groaning out there because they think that conservative Christians are boring, unenlightened, critical, etc., etc. etc. OK, so this art school would not be for you. But if you believe that the Bible is God’s Word and you want to learn how to make art that will turn our country and world around, please write me at: taylor (at) wordcentered (dot) com!

Lazy Christian

Christian, lazy, Statism, Big Government, welfare state, western christianityMatthew 25: 31-46 came to mind when creating this cartoon. Sometimes it seems like there are far too many christians who believe a secular State should be helping those in need, instead of working (individually or as a church community) to help others because of the Hope that is within. Thoughts or comments? Let us know!