'Christianity is losing its effect'
"It's a hard road to travel and a mighty long way to go." Christians get persecuted daily by onlookers who have not yet started their spiritual journey and by those who do not share their beliefs. And that's okay.
The Bible tells us that even Jesus, the Son of God, was persecuted for righteousness' sake.
The criticism coming from the outside forces the people of God to cling to each other in order to grow spiritually. After all, there is strength in numbers.
But what happens when the disparagement and the turn-off comes from within the church? Who do the Christians turn to for support?
Bethany*, a 21-year-old Christian woman, says the Church has not been kind to her.
"I got baptised when I was 11 years old. I loved my church and the members that were there, but then something happened that caused everything to come to a sudden stop," she said.
The young woman told Family and Religion that a scandal broke out which did not only cause a few members to leave the church, but resulted in the eventual closure of the religious institution.
"It was a big blow to the faith of many. I'm still a bit reluctant to give details, but all I know is it left many 'sheep lost'," she said.
Unlike most of her brethren, Bethany says her love for God did not cause her to despise churches. Instead, she brushed off the shame and disappointment of her previous membership and got involved with another institution.
"God bless the few who remained faithful to Christ after the big breakaway. I may have been the only one. Though I was just as hurt as the others, my pride and genuine love for God and His grace could not allow me to rejoin the world," Bethany said.
But though the sins of her previous religious institution differed significantly from that of her present church, Bethany told Family and Religion that the effect on her is just as great.
"I came here (to the church) for a new beginning in Christ, but I feel as if I'm setting myself up for another dose of hurt. Christianity is losing its effect on people. It's as if they no longer fear God. The pastor tries his best, but a majority of the congregation is so... worldly," she said, highlighting what she calls the sinful nature of today's Christians.
Bethany says that it is hard to remain faithful to her promise as there is no one around her to emulate.
"I don't have a spiritual mentor. Everyone seems so dirty and uncaring. It's as if they aren't even trying to live a pleasing life. The testimonies have become weaker, the skirts shorter, and the praise can hardly be heard," said the woman of God.
Bethany says that though she still worships at the church, she is desperately searching for another temple where God is still in control and the praise is still true.