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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leaving Church

I feel like I have been sat in the doorway of church for a long time gazing at the open door and the possibilities that lie outside but have been afraid to step out because so much of my identity is tied up in the institution of the Church.

Over the past couple of years my confidence in the Church and Christianity has been slowly chipped at and eroded. Rather than dealing with this dilemma and tension I have tried to find an accomodating position so I did the ministry in the pub but gradually I came to realize that the doubts that I was supressing meant that I couldn't talk to anyone about my faith and beliefs until I had sufficiently understood them for myself.

I haven't been to church in quite a while and I can't see a way back. I studied at Bible College and was ordained as a pastor and, however much I tried to deny the fact, I have realized that so much of my identity was tied up in this role and in the evangelical Christian community and so I feel that I have to go through a grieving process as I seek to find a new identity that I can own with integrity.

I can't believe in the literalness of much of the Bible story and that bothers me because I uncritically accepted the Biblical narrative for so long and preached and counselled others in believing and confessing the Christian story. I don't know where the future lies for me or my faith. I know that there are no easy answers but I am just putting this "out there" to seek friendship and care as I make this journey.