I grew up in the evangelical church world with all its certainties, dogma, rules, guilt and shame. Thankfully my world also offered a good dose of love, forgiveness and grace. While my story has deep roots in that world, today I am trying to let go of much of the baggage that came along with it. My journey initially lead me to choose studies in Pastoral Theology after which I worked as a pastor in various denominations for about 15 years. After a failed attempt at church planting, I partly left the church ministry world in August of 2014 and then completely removed myself from it in December of 2016. Since then I’ve slowly but surely continued my deconstruction until the point of recognizing and owning up to the fact that I am no longer what one might call a christian or a believer.
Over the years as I’ve come to listen to my own voice, I realized things are not always so certain as we make them out to be. Certainty makes us feel secure. Questions and doubts make us feel like the foundation we’ve built our lives on is being pulled from under us. We don’t always know what to do and where to go with our questions. Church can be intimidating and unhelpful for the skeptic. Many of us appreciate the community that can be the church, but we can find it difficult to fit in if we come as we are.
For a long time I kept trying to write from a Christian perspective while also being true to my expanding worldview. I’ve found this to be burdensome and I recently (early May 2021) realized that for my journey to continue with integrity I needed to allow myself to simply and honestly be who I am and where I am. Today I write as one who can no longer comfortably identify with the christian faith and belief in god. There are many values to which I still hold but these values do not belong to any one religion. They are inherently human values that we all benefit from when we pursue them.
This is simply my mini contribution toward helping us along while learning to love one another and embrace our differences. Inside or outside of the church.
Which way’s up? We’re all moving forward but it’s often difficult to know exactly where it is we are going. Life is beautiful but it also gets quite messy at times. Considering various aspects of our day to day lives and the challenge that often comes with navigating through them. I offer humble yet real life applicable suggestions to forging our way forward.