The Beginning of the story….

Over the past two thousand years, many things have been believed, supported, upheld, demanded, valued, suppressed, and encouraged by the very body of Jesus Christ, the Church.

And we reap the consequences of their behavior–good or bad. Lucky us.

The Church’s record is anything but blameless. Yet, those of us who find ourselves as Christians are faced with the reality of the situation–we have become part of that body. When a televangelist is caught sleeping with a woman not his wife, I am a part of that body. When a denomination forces its adherents to follow their ways of thinking, I am a part of that body. When a greedy deacon is found embezzling the church’s money, I am a part of that body. When the church forces conversion to Christianity by threat of death, I am a part of that body.

When I’m honest with myself, I’m sick. We’re sick. And it wouldn’t be so bad if we just had the 24-hour flu. But when will we get beyond being sick to being sick of it all?

You, me…we have the choice to leave this mess and find some other way of living. Yet I don’t want to. I don’t hate the church…I love it. If anything has gotten me this far in life, it’s been the church. And it’s value in society has unlimited potential value. At least, that’s what I believe. And I’m guessing you feel the same way or you wouldn’t be here.

Christian and Faithful, after discussing, arguing, contemplating, and trying not to fall asleep, have come up with an idea: Why not create a way for everyone everywhere to share their thoughts and questions? Of course, that can only mean the internet. And here we are.

Often times, as Christians, we get into debates and such, fighting over who’s right and who’s wrong. Unfortunately, this gets us nowhere, because we are too busy defending ourselves to listen to the other person. If I’m Calvinst and you’re Arminian, the lines are drawn, and no one’s coming closer.

But what if there were a way to honestly lay down our agendas, lay aside our prejudices, and sincerely grapple with the issues that lie before us? Can anyone among us say that we’ve discovered the truth? Do any of us understand it all? Can any of us claim to have no opinions…just facts? Perhaps by revisiting our faith…by growing in mental awareness…by challenging what the church has taught us to believe and do…we can take another step toward the truth, and we’ll know the truth even deeper–and the truth will set us free.

By challenging, we don’t mean criticizing or usurping authority. That’s detrimental. Challenging involves a personal check: What do I believe? Why do I believe it? How do I practice what I believe? Why do I practice it like I do?

On this site, you will find many opportunities to express your frustrations, share in the passions of others, and grow in understanding through your insight paired with the contributions of people around the globe. All ideas are taken at face value and evaluated on an equal footing. We encourage people to critically and creatively think, expressing those thoughts without fear of an automatic, knee-jerk rejection. Admittedly, we are merely humans trying to understand and grapple with views that are beyond our scope of experience. Due to our own limitations, we can’t bring the necessary viewpoints to a discussion…that’s why it’s so vital for you and many others to enter the discussions, expanding the horizon of possible ways to approach and understand the issues at hand.

We, as Christian, Faithful, and Hopeful, are happy to open topics or discussion. We don’t know everything. In fact, we don’t even claim to know anything all that well. However, driven by a common purpose to pinpoint our beliefs and actions, face our own inadequacies, and promote life and truth, we have initiated the Church Challenge.