37 Signs That You Were a Christian Kid Born in the 90’s

Christian kid

Growing up in the Christian subculture was a unique experience. As was growing up in the 90’s. Those of us who emerged from a blend of these two backgrounds share common-experiences, cultural bonds and traits that make up who we are- and what we believe- today.

Here’s just a few of them:

1.) All you need to know you learned from:

2.) You seriously questioned whether or not you should read the Harry Potter books when they first came out…because witches.

3.) This was what you watched at every youth-group movie night for, oh- about sixteen years:4.) Most of the anxiety in your life can be traced back to the Left Behind series:

Will YOU be??


6.) Avalon, Steven Curtis Chapman, Plus One, OC Supertones and, lest we forget:

7.) Speaking of which: you know all the words to “Jesus Freak.”

8.) …and your first AOL screename was derived from the title (JSUSFreakgurl3599)

9.) Today, as an adult, you sometimes feel as though the faith of your youth propagated an us verses them mentality against the culture and ‘the world.’

10.) When you started dating you learned the meaning of a DTR

11.) But then you kissed dating goodbye:


    (…and that hat too, I hope.)

12.) You’re not sure what Jesus would do..but he sure as h-e-doublehockeysticks would wear this bracelet:

13.) …and ironically (though not until now) your entire conservative, non-denominational youth group all wore rainbow versions of the above-mentioned.

14.) You had a lot of great experiences at church as a child, but sometimes feel like God was missing from them; and now you struggle to see how that faith is relevant to this life.

15.) You weren’t allowed to watch the Simpsons…because they make fun of Christians!

(though it does justify your previously mentioned anxieties about Harry Potter).

16.) You didn’t shop at Abercrombie and Fitch but did buy:

17.) You wanted (and tried) to vote Republican– at age 9.

18.) You can finish this bridge: “Scanned the cafeteria for some good seating / I found a good spot by the cheerleaders eating…”

19.) The first time you went to Mexico was on a missions trip the second time was on an all-inclusive cruise…sometimes you get the two mixed up. 

20.) You didn’t date your first love, you courted them… and it’s about as awkward as it sounds.

21.) Sometimes you long for the days when faith (and life, really) was black-and-white.

22.) You think Nicholas Cage is a poser, because:

23.) The first rapper you listened to was Kirk Franklin.

24.) You remember visiting the Creation Museum for the first time- you wondered then (and wonder now) if faith always has to come at the cost of science.

25.) It’s not Christmas without Amy Grant and it’s not Christmas (evidently) unless you’re in Tennessee.

26.) Your first kiss was at the youth group lock-in.

27.) Your first broken bone was at youth group, during a game of red rover.

28.) So was your second.

29.) That youth pastor was fired.

30.) You’ve done communion with Surge and Cheese-Its.

31.) That youth pastor wasn’t fired.

32.) You got a purity ring on your 13th birthday:

33.) Today you are fearful that members of your church might find out what you did while wearing it.

34.) The phrase “Touched by an Angel” prompts nostalgia, and this never seemed weird to you….until now.

It’s like a face-off with the board of Planned Parenthood


35.) Harvest parties not Halloween. Done.

36.) You accepted Christ nine times- usually at church lock-ins. Today you often wonder about those in the world who don’t get a chance to accept Christ. “Is the Christianity orf my youth really the only hope?” You’re not entirely sure. And you’re not sure who to ask.

37.) But what cheers you up is when you read the Bible and encounter a story you’ve definitely heard before… on Veggie Tales:

In a research project titled Faith That Lasts the Barna Group looked to identify the reason why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) walk away, either temporarily or permanently, from their faith after the age of 15. Their conclusion, after five years of interviews, surveys and case studies, was that

“No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged.”

The most prevalent of these reasons being:

  1. Churches seem overprotective.
  2. Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
  3. Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
  4. Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.
  5. They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.
  6. The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

Christian heritage is a wonderful thing. But it comes with its share of baggage. One of the great challenges for those of us entering adulthood is rectifying the realities of faith with the questions of our world. How does Jesus matter outside of Vacation Bible School? Is the notion of ‘purity’ we learned as kids truly pertinent to faith? Is there room on the straight and narrow for our wide and over-bearing questions? Where do I belong? 

What we have to remember- what we’re coming to learn- is these 37 things are not the cornerstone of our faith. The foundation of Christian faith is not what we do, how we identify ourselves or the way we grew up- the foundation of Christian faith is grace. Grace that permeates our homes, childhood and new beginnings; grace that opens up the gates and invites all to enter; grace that answers our questions with a gentle smile; grace that confronts our doubt with outstretched hands; grace that reminds us that we are caught up in it every minute of every day.

Maybe we can come to see our upbringing with all its traits, flaws, debaucheries, guffaws, legalities and nuances– maybe we can come to see these, not as relics of our disillusionment but as the quirky means of ordinary grace.

If we can accomplish this then maybe, just maybe, our reasons for leaving the faith can become the transformative means of God’s grace in this ongoing journey. Maybe we can take the good and the bad, knowing that Christ sees all of it as somewhat peculiar (at best) and yet loves us anyway. Maybe we can reform our hearts instead of leaving our traditions. Maybe renewal is possible and redemption- even of the most idiotic aspects of our backgrounds- does have a chance.

Maybe. Just maybe.

If nothing else, it’s worth a try.

Because It’s Monday

…and if it’s like mine then it’s been a long one. So take a deep breath. Relax. Forget about schedules, meetings, alarm clocks, Tuesdays and how poorly your first weekend of fantasy football went for just a moment. Watch this. Laugh. Smile. Take the world a little less seriously. Then get back to everything important you were doing before understanding how a flamingo eats salad.

You’re welcome.

5 Things Beards Teach Us About Faith

5 points of beardism


Whether you’re a male with a beard, a male that wants a beard, or female in complete wonder (read: befuddlement) of the masculine fascination with beards, we can all admit one thing:

beards make everything better

But what we may not have realized until now, is that faith is one of those “everything”s that beards make better. Because the fact is that, in addition to their countless other benefits, beards also teach us a lot of things about faith. Here’s just a few of them:

1)   It Looks Different For Everyone

Some beards are long and majestic, shaped like a slice of masculinity hanging off the owner’s chin.

long beard1

Other beards are robust and round, enunciating the cheery-faced grin underneath.

round beard 1

Still others are sparse and developing, which communicate an air of “Okay, okay, but I’m trying”.


Whatever the case, each beard looks different on each individual man. For as a man grows his beard, so the beard becomes something that was not given him by mere genes, not something that can be claimed by the chromosomes of his parents, but something which is in fact his own.

So faith, as we grow, becomes something of which we take ownership. In doing so, we become a unique individual that’s part of a corporate body. Though all beards have common traits and qualities, each man’s beard is unique to that individual. This is part of the beauty of faith, the beauty of beards.


2)   Dedication Is Necessary For Growth

This doesn’t just happen overnight, people:


No, it takes months of dedication. It takes perseverance through the itching, determination through the societal scorn, immunity to the naysayers and hope through the deepest darkest nights of uncertainty when even the greatest of men are prone to wonder: “Will my beard ever be complete?”

Have hope! For perseverance leads to joy and joy, when it is complete, grows one heavenly beard:

beautiful beard 2

3)   We Need Role Models

Without inspiration and honest men who have gone before us, how could we ever hope to develop a mature faith? Just as we model our faith after great men of the past, so we can model our beards after men like Charles Spurgeon, who sayeth:


…and St. Patrick…

st patrick


And then there’s, oh um-I dunno, JESUS

Jesus beard

And, let’s be honest, C.S. Lewis also counts:

C.S. Lewis


4) It’s Not Easy

Stepping out in faith is like the first few months of a beard on an eighteen year-old college kid. At first it looks scraggly, your friends ask strange questions, you’re somewhat embarrassed about it and people tell you it’s a bad idea. As time goes on, and your faith beard grows, you may have doubts, you may have questions, there may be days when you hold the razor to your face and consider how easy it would just to give up and shave. But if you stick with it you will come to rest in the assurance that just like life in Christ is better than life without, so also:

bad day



5)   A Little Is Pruning Is Necessary

As Jesus reminded his disciples that every fruit-bearing branch must be pruned in order to bear more fruit, so must a good beard be trimmed so it can produce more fruit of magnificence.

So it is that a little trimming can turn this:

brad pitt untrimmed

…into this:

brad pit trimmed

I rest my case.


And so there you have just a few of the many ways beards help turn the faith of Christian boys into that of Christian men. So take heart, ye bearded gentlemen. Go forth, make disciples, and have them grow beards! It will be difficult at times, but faith rests in the hope of an eternal joy, the never ending proclamation of Christ’s glory and the on-going story of how we all:

started from the bottom