Over the last few years there has been a wave of Christians leaving the church. Please reread what I just said. There are Christians leaving the church. These are not those who are wiping their hands of God. They didn't turn into atheists. But they are tired of church and what it is and what it has become.
I ran across an article on the CNN Religion blog by one such person. She describes her experience and reasons for leaving the church and then returning. Two things struck me about what she said she learned through her experience.
First, her doubt belonged in the church.
Second, her doubt is part of her faith.
That is not the kind of message you normally hear, but it resonates with me and I suspect others. Read her article here. I think you will find an interesting perspective.
Thanks for this. Honestly-- I think I was on my way out the door when God called me to ministry. Seminary gave me the space to doubt, which kind of surprises me, looking back.ReplyDelete
Doubt is at times divinely ordained for God's accomplishing something needful in deepening one's relationship with Him, (and/or with others), a deepening that could not have been accomplished any other way. But please do not ask me to clarify the details and subtleties. Each person is unique, and as such, God is accomplishing a unique depth of relationship with each. The thing to remember is that not all doubt is failure. Some doubt is divinely ordained, and functions to bring one to the richer fulfillment in Him (and in Him with one another), to what He has made and sustains us for, corporately, and at a deeply personal and private level in receiving the name on the white stone (Rev 2:17).Delete
With some doubt being so divinely ordained toward enduring living fulfillment, and other doubt being that other sort of which we are not so desirous to own, the question is begged of how to know the difference between the two. And that may well be one of the reasons for the good sort of doubt, to grow us more deeply into where the answer is to be found. Simply knowing there is a good sort of doubt, one that God divinely ordains, is an essential understanding that some continue to resist.
Of course, all that being said does not mean that some are not leaving churches for wrong reasons, or attending for wrong reasons. Is the answer to be found in my thinker? I doubt it. 8^)
Although a what, when, where, why, and how might be part of the path to the answer, the culmination of meaning and (present active) fulfillment is going to be found in a *Who*. 8^)Delete
I left the church back in 1988... I found them to be intolerant, bigoted, holier than thou, condemning, etc etc... Thankfully, I found the United Church of Christ and have since "returned".ReplyDelete