I converted to Wicca from my family-based Christianity when I was 10, but later embraced Paganism. When I was very young, age 5, I loved angels, and God, and Jesus. I idolized my parents, until I was about 7. My mom took me to various churches at a young age. I remember being at a Christian preschool/daycare. My hair was a pixie cut. Those children made fun of me, taunting me, saying I was a boy, looked like a boy, when I was definitely a girl (and woman today). The girls watching us seperated me, put me in a corner, and talked about how to handle it. Nothing came of it. Then, the pieces fell apart in the perception of my family. I recognized that my dad was abusive to us and our mother. My mother was neglectful, and slept all day, leaving me to mostly raise my siblings myself. I became very disillusioned. I felt like my culture had not revealed the truth of what was out there. So I did my own research. I discovered gods that had existed before Jesus and the God of Christianity. I also felt abandoned by God. I remember yelling up to him, in my effort to mow a 10-acre property using a small push-mower, and yelling at him, saying he'd abandoned me by placing me with abusive/neglectful parents, and surrounded by a hypocritical Christian culture that only cared to show compassion to them and theirs, and literally to hell with anyone else.
God didn't save me from suicide when I was 14. Athena did. When I was curled on the floor, sobbing, she very distinctly said, "Get off the floor. Get up." It was her presence, her voice, in my mind. Sekhmet protected me from those who would cause me harm, and she healed my soul. Arianrhod helped me conceive my son a month after prayer, when my husband and I had tried for several months. Hermes helped me develop my communication skills, so that I could form relationships with people I otherwise would not have, considering my upbringing.
I read the Bible from time to time... the only people I see not trying to repent for being sinful humans are the hypocritical Christians themselves - and the ones who do repent refuse to call out their brethren. They enable them through their silence, instead of reminding them of their true mission, as Jesus would have done.
And believe it or not - I also have a relationship with Jesus. I am no longer upset with his God, however Jesus knows I do my best to be a good person, as all of my Pagan gods know as well. Of course, I'm not perfect. No one is. I believe in a hell. However, it is the arrogant person, judging me and those like me - all "outsiders" - arrogantly believing they have a guaranteed spot in heaven without repentance- telling me I and those like me (note: anyone different, and outside of their small bubble) that we will go to hell...
Where we go in the afterlife is determined by the Gods. Or, God, for Christianity. How pompous and arrogant does one have to be, to think they have the right to judge?
Jesus sat and communed with outsiders, and railed heavily against the pharisees. And that's all we got these days, preaching from pulpits are pharisees. Perhaps the outsiders are the ones Jesus is actually looking to protect and save... and not just from the bowels of hell.
But it's not my place to judge the perspective and lifestyle of another. I mind the business of myself and my family, and do my best to help those I come across, regardless of religion, gender, race, or any identifying factor.
I would think that, in this age, Jesus would be horrified by what Christianity has become. I know I am. And they wonder why people are leaving the church. Maybe it's not the people leaving the church that you have to fear. Perhaps, it's the people who are pushing people away, active people left in the church, with their judgemental hatred, that you have to fear.
But, I am just a Pagan. What do I know about humanity and divinity, right?
I am open to replies and perspectives, of course. I just needed a place, full of self-proclaimed Christians, to understand what I and many others have dealt with, in regard to the Christian community, for several years. I still shake my head when they act confused about why people are leaving the church. Perhaps if they opened a non-judgmental dialogue with them, they'd find out why. But they're too afraid or wilfully ignorant to do it, I guess. I don't know. You tell me.