You may not agree with me theologically, but one thing I hope we can agree upon is that the days of high pressure, perform or else Christianity need to come to a close. When you take a group of young, impressionable minds, especially teenagers and young adults who are desperate to find a great cause with which to identify, and tell them that their level of prayer, personal holiness, fasting and intercession determine whether or not the world will burn in hell, or even more fantastically, that these things have the power to bring Christ back to earth, you are setting people up for disillusionment, burnout, bitterness, and atheism. You’re creating a breeding ground for judgmentalism, depression, isolation and condemnation. You may say that such activities are sparse in the church, and unpracticed by the larger ministries dominating the landscape, but you’d be wrong. Such high pressure, the-world-is-on-your-shoulders ideas have become standard fare in many of the *MAJOR* youth and young adult movements of the day. It is no wonder that we are creating far more dropouts than disciples. Heck, I’m a dropout myself. That system pushed me up against the lockers, stole my lunch money, bloodied my face, and tempted me with suicide. These bullying systems of religion, that dangle prophetic carrots in front of our faces in order to encourage fervent devotion, are beyond damaging, they’re downright devilish. Young people, who should be out exploring the world, reveling in the love of God and the beauty of His creation, are instead giving all of their precious energy and years to a system that typically gives nothing back. It demands, it demands, and it demands, but it leaves you feeling cold, lifeless, empty and isolated. It promises, it promises and it promises, but always leaves you with a handful of nothing but regret and condemnation. There is a better way, and it is the way of resting in God’s love and the perfect work of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not about what you can do for God, but what God has done for you. It’s not about God taking, but you receiving. It isn’t about living under pressure 24/7, or walking on eggshells, anxiously wondering whether or not your life is pleasing to the Lord. Christianity is God crucifying all that destroys, and then giving you back a life that is full of laughter, joy, freedom and friendship. The nonsense we’ve practiced in the name of trying to radicalize people and motivate them to action has done way more harm than good, and it’s time to take to every platform we can find, and shout that God is love, and that it’s OK to struggle, feel weak, and not have a desire to change the world. It’s OK to be a human being and to enjoy life. You can be a Christian, have an active prayer and devotion life, and not be a monastic. It’s possible to enjoy the world God has made, and still be called a son or daughter. Selling out and being radical does not equal punching out of life, and killing yourself with rules and requirements. And guess what? You can, in fact, be a healthy, balanced, normal person, and still change the world for good. You can enjoy music (not just praise and worship), art, literature, sports, etc…, without feeling guilty or less Jesus-like than the guy on the mission field. You can live and love and still be a force for good. A life devoted to God should be full of…wait for it…LIFE! So hit the eject button, and escape the collapsing work houses of religious performance. There is a better way, and His name is Jesus.