How Did I Get Here? (the slow road to heresy) pt. 1

My friend Becca asked me some time ago to explain how I got to where I did.  How did I get here (the contents of this blog) from where I started (conservative Evangelicalism)?

It's hard to be sure of how and why I got to where I did (more accurately, got started on the path to where I'm going... and the destination hasn't necessarily been established).

There are a lot of folks participating in this conversation about evolving faith and spirituality.  We come to it for a lot of different reasons.  I ask questions from a vantage of trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.  My life has been awfully blessed and privileged - I've never been deeply betrayed by people of faith - never been abused or mistreated.  Christ has manifested in loving, gracious ways.  No, I haven't always recognized them as such, but neither did I have reason to doubt the love or goodness of the Lord.  This has allowed me to push the limits of my own faith, to explore the edges of what I believe - what Christianity "allows" me to believe - what instinct and intuition (yes, yes, very "dangerous" things...) tell me about who Jesus was and is, versus what theology, Christology, tradition and culture dictate.

I can ask questions because I trust God to love me, no matter how far I push the envelope.  I push the envelope because I want others who have not been so fortunate as I have to feel welcome and loved in the Kingdom of God: Christ's revolution here and now.  The boundaries and lines drawn in the sand by Christendom do more harm than help, if they ever helped.

On the other hand, some of the people closest to me ask these questions for the exact opposite reasons: God has never manifested to them in ways that were good, faithful, trustworthy or loving.  God has represented judgment, fear, abuse, oppression, perversion and the most intimate of betrayals.  These ways in which God - and the people of God - have been demonstrated lead to questioning, to pushing the envelope, to desperately searching for something good!

So we come to many of the same questions.

I want to point out what my motives have been, first, because I think it's notable that I haven't arrived at questions of emergence out of anger or bitterness.  Yes, there are things I am angry about, and yes, there are things I am bitter about (unfortunately unavoidable when talking about organized religion) but those are not the things that prompted all of this.  I grew up in love with the church and with people of faith.

I'll talk more about specific questions I began asking, and specific rules I started breaking, in subsequent posts...

1 comment:

welovetea said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. What you just described is so similar to my own experience, it's nice to know I'm not alone in it!

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