Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion…
Trying to decide what I think of this interview, some provocative thoughts.
“The problem is that evangelical/fundamentalist faith revolves around two directives: Be successful and evangelize. That leads to bad choices.”
Probably a lot of good stuff that is true to a point but might be an over-reaction on some level. But, this section really caught my eye:
I can’t prove this, but I think that any person who remains a “professional Christian” in the evangelical/fundamentalist world for a lifetime, especially any pastor, risks becoming an atheist and/or a liar. Such individuals put on an act of certainty. Sooner or later they become flakes faking it, or quit. Worse yet, some just stop asking questions. The very fact that a preacher can fool others when he or she has so many doubts makes the self-appointed mediator of faith the deepest cynic of all if, that is, he or she doesn’t embrace paradox. If you have to be correct all the time, while knowing that you are wrong most of the time, you become an actor. Been there, done that. If you think that to “be a Christian” means you have to identify with a club you loathe, you’ll have to choose to redefine your faith or lose it — even if it costs you a paycheck and your “good” life.
I have noticed this tension in my life. Good thing I am bi-vocational! That way this is only half true. 🙂 Seriously though, I sense this as a pastor. But, I’m thankful that I really do have a community that allows me to work out my theology and doubts in their midst. For example, two Easters ago I was really struggling with doubt and my faith. I had to preach on Easter sunday. This was a serious struggle for me as Easter tends to be the most important celebration in the Christian faith.
How could I preach the resurrection when I was in the midst of such a funk? Well, what I did was preach with the doubt, preach with the frustration. How did it turn out? Well, for starters, my sermon was only 12 minutes long. Everyone was not only excited about its brevity but I think that is one sermon where people went out of their way to express their appreciation for my thoughts. I basically got up and said, “I can’t prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I need the resurrection to be true. If its not, I have no hope..” If you are interested, its archived here. Heck, its only 12 minutes 🙂