Another Brick in the Wall …
I am very fortunate to have many friends walking this path of de-conversion with me right now. Most of us haven’t totally made a break from the spiritual, but we’ve all come to grips with the fact that “organized religion” is really neither organized or religious, in the sense of the spiritual.
One of my friends is Paul. He was on staff at a “church,” and was dismissed in the name of financial cutbacks. However, he was really let go because he was pushing the envelope and, like all prophets before him, when you start screwing with the status quo, they look for a way to hand you your head. Paul spent a lot of time trying to come to a middle ground with these individuals, but to no avail. Now, he’s simply trying to find which way is up when it comes to spiritual things.
Paul is also a great writer. I would invite any of you to visit his blog: paulfilan.wordpress.com, and respond if you wish. If you visit today, you’ll find an interesting discussion from some of Paul’s “friends.” Like many of us, he’s come out of the ranks of not only “church attendance” but being a participant and leader for years. He’s raw, and very, very authentic. Which, by the way, is another thing “good church people” really do not like, because it forces them to look at who they are and what they believe in ways that make many of them uncomfortable. They will say it’s the words Paul is speaking that they are responding to, but my heart tells me it’s their own fear of confronting their ignorance.
I’m finding the majority of religious people, especially once they are in some type of leadership, are afraid to question their beliefs (although they are liberal in doing so for others). I understand the concept of “maintaining the power” (although especially in a spiritual context, I don’t agree with it), but it just goes against everything I understand. Call me crazy if you will, but I’m beginning to believe so-called Christianity is the most bi-polar institution around. At least we expect politicians to say one thing and do another!
Being the trusting soul I am, and having had good, early examples, I kind of look to “church” people to actually have some semblance of consistency. I know, I keep coming back to this like an idiot, and I just cannot seem to learn my lesson. And I don’t want to become bitter, either. So I hold my hand close, and hope to God someday someone will prove my observations about all the hypocrisy wrong. However, I’m also a realist enough to know that, like the unwanted stray dog, I will keep getting fed by the compassionate, and kicked by the rest of them.
Anyway, I hate to sound like the broken record, but this is just where I still find myself. Even after an amazing discussion with one of my “atheist” friends yesterday (who insists I’m getting closer all the time to making the “leap of un-faith”), I find I still crave something I believe to be real.
I have found a lot of acceptance and encouragement in this de-conversion community. I can’t thank you guys enough for the things you have taught me, and the kind words you have shared. In my own “blogging” way, I have come to trust your views and opinions, which is why I invite you to “get to know” my friend Paul and the idiots that surround us. Oops … that sounded a little too bitter, didn’t it? Anyway, at the very least, you will see one more reason I say the “structure” is building it’s own mausoleum, and hastening its own demise.