Posts tagged ‘emerging church’

A Christian Pastor influenced my de-conversion

The most influential event for me in my de-conversion was actually talking to a Christian pastor.

I was visiting my brother in Kentucky, and prior to going to see Pirates 3 Saturday night, we all went to watch him perform at his megachurch where he plays the drums. As we were getting ready to leave, some of the people in my party were chatting with friends they knew, and while this was going on, the lady pastor there somehow caught wind of my parents’ recent divorce. She took advantage of this and she immediately started asking me very prodding, personal questions.

I tried to defuse them with stuff like “I’m handling it” but she wouldn’t let up. Finally, thinking it would satisfy her, I was frank about my reactions to the whole situation. She then started crying, and gave me a hug (freakin’ awkward) then asked me if I was trusting Christ. At the time I was somewhat of an agnostic Christian loosely clinging to emerging church theology but I really hadn’t used any form of faith in dealing with that particular situation. This quickly devolved into an attempt on my part to defend my faith-position on the fly to someone who was extremely well-versed in apologetics and well-practiced in religious debate (contrast this to me who only ever had to defend a Christian faith to people and was now finding himself unwittingly on the other end of the shotgun!)…

Continue Reading August 7, 2008 at 11:59 pm 41 comments

The fall of literalism in my life

Cross and BibleTaking a cultural perspective to belief is a useful exercise. For me, it means that I am no longer bound to particulars. What matters now is the context in which experience arises.

Not too long ago, I would read the Bible as if it were God’s Word to me now, as if God were speaking to me through the text. In fact, that was the primary way I could know God and maintain the sense of relationship. I came to speak of and relate to God as one would a person, obviously through the creative use of imagination. This God-sense began at a youth concert, where I was so emotionally moved by the sermon that I experienced a shift in my focus. It was that ‘born again’ conversion experience that so many talk about. Thus began many years of my life as a devoted follower of Christ.

Fast-forward many years into the future, and I am listening to an interview with Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren discussing the metaphorical nature of hell. It was my first exposure to the idea of universal salvation. Suddenly, an entirely different paradigm came rushing in to shatter the foundation of my faith. If the message of the gospel as proclaimed within evangelical churches is that Christ saved me from hell, and hell is not real, what is left of the gospel? I felt disillusioned and immediately stopped attending church, whilst beginning to explore the alternative approaches to scripture. Over time, a lack of exposure to evangelical Christian church services and a range of books and podcasts would blast away any remaining hope that I had in a literal view of the Bible…

Continue Reading April 2, 2008 at 6:09 am 35 comments

Why I am Not a Liberal Christian

crosslight.jpgThis post is somewhat of an indirect response, or possibly a reaction, to Mike Clawson’s “I might have become an atheist” post, in which he narrates how his doubts at Bible college almost led him to disbelief, but found a theological home with the emerging Christian movement. I briefly responded (#4) to his post with some concerns, albeit I admit my questions were unfairly rhetorical. I would like to take this opportunity to share my own experience with the movement, since I do have a similar theological background as Mike appears to have had and to state why I could not, with being honest to myself, stay within the liberal emergent village. I do not publish this as a rebuke or even a debate, although I would be more than willing to have an open and frank conversation on the topic.

Like Mike, I too grew up as an evangelical conservative Christian, although not an in-your-face preaching type, I held fundamentalist views (Young earth, Biblical inerrancy, etc.), and was politically conservative. I had reservations about the hawks among my party (Reform/Canadian Alliance at that time), but I was both economically and socially conservative. However, in my second year of Bible college, I thoroughly studied the Sermon on the Mount which led to a political paradigm shift – away from conservatism and into a radical liberalism. Although I was still theologically conservative, my political shift forced me to take a look at my overall intellectual composition. It was at this time I came across an instructor at my conservative Bible college that I thought was completely heretical…

Continue Reading March 7, 2008 at 9:00 am 112 comments

I might have become an atheist

EC Pic‘Emerging’ Christian Commentary

Beginning toward the end of college and continuing through grad school into my years as a youth pastor, I went through a radical rethinking of all my conservative evangelical beliefs. I had grown up thoroughly immersed in the evangelical subculture, and as a teenager was an on-fire, committed Christian eager to serve God and share my faith with others. I attended Wheaton College, a conservative evangelical liberal arts school, where ironically, I was introduced to ideas that led me to start questioning key aspects of my conservative faith – from the nature and reality of God, to the inerrancy of scripture, to the existence of “absolute truth” or even “universal morality” free from cultural influence, to the inherent rightness of the Republican party, to the nature of salvation as merely a “get into heaven free” card.

Thanks to postmodern philosophy, as well as friends and professors who led me to look at scripture itself in a different light, by the time I finished undergrad and graduate school at Wheaton I as thoroughly cynical and disillusioned with the faith with which I had been raised. I had learned that doubt and uncertainty were an unavoidable part of the human condition, and that questioning my faith was actually a good thing…

Continue Reading March 5, 2008 at 9:23 pm 133 comments


Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

Twitter

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 1,964,523 hits since March 2007

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183 other followers