“Greg is a former student and good friend. I learned today that he has left the faith.”
I am hungering for more than some religious faith that will hold me over until I reach the other side. Blind faith that is not based in the facts will no longer hold me. Evolution, an archeology that disproves the exodus and contradictions that are rampant throughout the bible are what I know to be true! But the paradox is that coming to these conclusions has only strengthen my faith. I no longer have to try and hide behind the pseudo-science of creationism, or worry that someone will dethrone my bibliolatry.
“Perhaps an inauthentic and empty posture toward God has been replaced with something genuine. I much prefer genuine unbelief to the pretense of faith. It is more healthy on the human level and more useful in God’s economy.”
I can no longer sit back and watch as the christian culture around me becomes Cameronized! As the congregation that was once young and health slides into old age, I have watched as the younger members move on and the congregation shrinks in half. I still hear people say how our congregation is so young, but I look around and realize that these people are fooling themselves. The group that has left or are leaving are between 18 and 35. And they are not necessarily leaving the city or even their faith, though some are. They are leaving an evangelical fundamentalism that requires leaving their intelligence behind in order to have “faith like a child“, so that if they stay, their faith would become “an inauthentic and empty posture toward God”. I am ready to rouse the Pharisees! And the one Pharisee that I am starting with is me.
“I’m afraid to describe the evangelical fundamentalism that I know, but instead choose to flatter the entire business so I won’t rouse the Pharisees.
“I treat my classroom as a place to shadow box rather than as a place to speak plainly. I run like a frightened girl at one irritated fundamentalist, and look away from students I know will soon turn away altogether because people like myself keep our answers to ourselves.
“It is too late for Greg. He is on to another place in his journey and I am not part of it. I have lessons to learn.
“I have more students. More opportunities.
“I have a place to repent and a place to risk telling the truth another day.”
It may be too late for Greg, but there is a whole generation that can be saved from this evangelical fundamentalism. I am much closer to MWPeak and tildeb. I just may be on the verge of joining that legion exploring new territories of my faith off the map of evangelicalism.
One day after this post was published there were 103 comments (make that 104). You cannot tell me that this is not an issue! We are in a time of amplified societal change not seen since the Enlightenment/ Reformation. We can sit back and watch the world around us go to hell in a hand basket, digging our foundational heals in against the tide, or we can step out of our theological comfort zones and help define our faith for the changing times we are in and for the new age we are heading towards.
I must now go and read some of the comments. I’ll leave you with the first two that I read before I had to breakaway and write this:
I made the decision to walk away from the faith just about a week ago. It had nothing to do with science or doubt or some other controversy. It had to do with the fact each church, each denomination, each group, has its expectations, what it believes it own should believe and how they should behave. After being pulled in a thousand directions, I soon discovered that I did not know what to believe.
So I quit. I put my bibles back on the shelf and washed my hands of the “Christian” label and the expectations that come with it.
Now, I find myself in a wilderness where there is only God and me and my search for who I am, devoid of the ideas of others. Perhaps when I find my own way, my own identity, I can return to the church, to the faith.
I will always keep with me the love of God, love for my neighbor, and the name of Jesus.
Very courageous, MWPeak. You may think you are alone but we are legion. That first step is a doozy! Follow your heart but don’t forget to listen to your mind, too. It’s a fantastic combination.
For a slight change of pace, may I suggest reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, a long interview with Bill Moyers that may offer you a bit of guidance on where to go from here.
Very best wishes.