Now, clearly, she had experiences with other Christians that were problematic that may have helped drive her in the direction she ultimately went. She signifies this by saying, "You lost me," 29 times. She uses this turn of phrase to pass responsibility for abandoning Jesus onto the church instead of herself, where the blame belongs. Saying things like, "You lost me," is an attempt at blame-shifting. It shifts the blame for unbelief from self, where it belongs, to others.
Now, my comments are not about her political/social views beyond where she admits to involving herself in sin and then making excuses for it, or accepting those sins as okay, such as fornication and homosexuality (elsewhere on her blog). Rather, I want to address one thing.
We did not lose Beth. She lost herself.
Contrary to her viewpoint, Beth has stumbled over Jesus, not the church. To be sure, she blames the errors and sins of the church. But her abandonment of the church is actually an abandonment of Jesus. Why? Because she wants a different Jesus than what the Bible offers. She wants a Jesus that loves but doesn't judge (though in hypocritical fashion, she judges the church for her decision). Christians make mistakes in their expression of Christ all the time. Even the apostles did it. Peter did it (Galatians 2:14). Paul and Barnabas did it (Acts 15). John and James did it (Luke 9:54). Is the church better than these?
Do we regard our principles and practices of the faith as wrong because of its practitioners, or do we look to the person of Christ? This is where Beth, and every person who abandons Christianity, stumbles. Because Christianity is not primarily about the principles and practices. It's about the person of Jesus.
Nowhere in her article does Beth express an intimate personal one-on-one love of Jesus in her experience. She was involved in many of the "right things," but the right things aren't the same as knowing and being in love with Jesus. I have yet to meet a person who was truly in love with Jesus, I mean, really in love with the person of Jesus, who later abandoned his or her faith.
I've known those who "tried, really tried," Christianity only to later abandon Christ. And sadly, they think they haven't abandoned Jesus, they've only abandoned "a version" of him that didn't meet their standards. Did you catch that? "Their standards." But, honestly, that's poppycock. What such a person actually does is to make up their own Jesus, in their own image, as Beth has done, and call it love, the kind of love that doesn't confront sin unless it's the sin of violating their version of Jesus. They might as well worship the happy bobble-head Jesus on the dashboard, because essentially, they are the same.
Did we really lose Beth, or anyone like her? Some of the Christians she knew may have been hypocrites and certainly didn't help her along the right path. But aren't hypocrites a convenient excuse for a decision that comes when we don't really love Jesus in the first place? Sadly, I think her eyes were on the wrong people. They should have been on Jesus. The real Jesus.