Gospel Artist Kirk Franklin Says Christianity's Subculture Made Him 'Question If God Was Even Real'

Kirk Franklin performs during the concert 'Rebuilding the Soul of America - One Year Later,' dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 29, 2006.
Kirk Franklin performs during the concert "Rebuilding the Soul of America - One Year Later," dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 29, 2006. | (Photo: Reuters)

Popular gospel musician Kirk Franklin is no fan of Christianity's subculture and recently explained how it alienated him as he grew as a Christian and made him question "if God was even real."

Franklin, who discussed his frustration in a blog post on Patheos Tuesday, explained that the Christian subculture made him feel like he didn't belong when he was growing up and encouraged Christians feeling that way to keep loving God because fitting into the subculture isn't what really matters to God.

"I trusted Christ as my savior at the age of 15. Even then, there was something about the Christian church environment that made me feel like I was left out of some secret private meeting. There had to be a place where everybody was learning how to talk — whether they were greeting someone, responding during the preacher's sermon, or using quotes that seemed to be out of some starter manual for new beginner Christians," he began.

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He noted that because he couldn't fit in with the subculture he worried many times that he was missing something and it made him question God's existence.

"I sometimes questioned if God was even real. Was His Word even true? I seemed more like a heretic than a part of the 'Christian Club.' Throughout the years of being on a journey, at times I've felt deep levels of fear and confusion, while standing at coffins of little kids killed by random unnecessary acts of violence, while evil people walked away to live another day. I've had days and nights filled with fear about my future," he said.

It was only over time that Franklin realized that fitting in with church culture isn't what's important for a relationship with God.

"Through many days, weeks, and months of seeing Him come through in indescribable ways, I have found that it's not my spiritual acrobatics or the newest churchy phrase that gets the church excited during the rise of the church organ and fast tempo drums. It's the yanking and pulling and doubting and running and chasing and falling and questioning and crying and dancing and listening that's important," he said. "I have fallen in love with the lover of the universe; not the subculture of Christianity. And that's OK."

He then warned that it's important for Christians to have a heart that's seeking after God and not simply looking to fit into the Christian subculture.

"The heart of the matter will ALWAYS be the heart of the matter — what matters is your motives and pursuit that burns deep in the place that only God sees. The place you can't hide the real you from," he noted.

"Who you are publicly will only be as strong as who you are privately. You can either be 'churchy' or you can be a 'chaser.' That's what David was in Psalms 42. As the deer was thirsty for water, David was dehydrated for God. He was so thirsty for Him that he made it his life's goal to chase God until that thirst was satisfied. You can go to church seven days a week, dress in all white, and quote every verse in Nahum (which would be kinda weird) but none of that makes you a chaser," said Franklyn.

"Friend, whether or not you believe in Him, He believes in you. And if you don't fit in with the church crowd, don't know any Bible verses, are on your way to jail, just got out of jail, are tatted from your neck to your feet, have your nose pierced, or haven't been to church since your homey got killed, you're OK," he added. "Man is not the standard, God is."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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