Any time you see Christians portrayed in the media, whether through news stories, on television shows or in the movies, you’re more than likely going to see intolerant, judgmental, crazy zealots who are completely out of touch with the real world and who make it impossible for others to even consider checking out the Christian faith as a lifestyle for themselves. And while the media has done a good job of misrepresenting believers, there are enough “religious” folks and places of faith that crystalize these stereotypes on a daily basis.
According to an Ipsos-Reid poll in September 2011, Canadians are split down the middle on the topic of whether religion does more harm in the world than good. 44% think religion does more harm than good while 39% think that religion helps find answers to what’s going on in the world. 61% of Canadians, overall, say that religions provides more questions than it does answers.
There’s no doubt that a good number of people think religion is a drag. We agree!
River City is part of a movement of churches who cater to those who think faith might do more harm than good, those who think faith might help find answers to what’s going on in the world and especially to the 61% who say that faith provides more questions than answers. Yes, you read that right! Bring on the haters, the seekers and the skeptics!
People who hang out at River City likely start out as “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR), a popular phrase used to self-identify a lifestyle of spirituality that rejects traditional organized religion as the sole means of furthering spiritual growth. This is a place where people are supported in a community as they discover the Christian faith and find answers to life’s big questions. People here are looking to change their lives, raise healthy families, further their careers, participate in civic activities and find purpose and meaning. Being part of a church provides support while learning about the Christian faith, not a list of rules and rituals to be followed.
“If you’re one of those people who has rejected church and Christianity because of some previous negative experience or preconceived notions, you’re in good company, says Darrell Bierman, lead pastor at River City. “We specialize in spiritual atheists, those who are more spiritual than religious, spiritual eclectics, free thinkers and spiritual seekers. In April 2010, the front page of USA Today claimed that 72% of “Generation Y” would classify themselves in one of these categories and we welcome the conversations!”
River City meets on Sundays in the Cambridge Galaxy. It serves continental breakfast to guests who are invited to bring their breakfast into the meetings. Movie clips and drama are regularly featured during discussions on teachings of Christianity. Music is very much like what you hear in local pubs with a strong likelihood you will hear something that you recognize every week. People are encouraged to tweet and text their questions & comments during the meetings.
“We’re very serious about hearing people’s questions regardless of what they are,” says Bierman, “we don’t guarantee we have the answers, but we’ll definitely help you figure it out.”
Find us online – rivercitychurch.org – @TalkRiverCity – facebook.com/RiverCityCambridge