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What About Others Who Question?


Yvonne
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I have been reading some stories in Personal Stories and Journeys forums and so many of our stories share similarities. I can't help but wonder about people who may be experiencing what so many of us did in traditional – not to say fundamental – churches. I'm thinking there may be many, many others in these churches now who are experiencing the questions, hurt, disappointment, and disillusionment that we experienced, but do not have the knowledge to find their way to PC and have given up. Let's face it, many of us on this forum are reasonably well educated and well read. But what about those who suffer through it, but can't find a way to get questions answered? I often think that there must be something I can do to offer support for these people, but can't think what that may be!

 

Speaking for myself, if somebody, anybody would have told me some of the things I struggled to find out on my own, I probably would have begun this journey a lot sooner. I know, its okay to work to find thing out for myself, but I did not have a solid background in any kind of theology or scripture study or anything like that, which probably made the struggle a bit harder than it had to be. I was steeped in my church's doctrine, but that's it.

 

In another thread, I mentioned evangilization, though that was probably a poor word choice. How can we, as PCs reach out to people who are stuck and don't know there is an alternative?

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There are other people who can talk better than I can about how to act if one has pre-existing ties or is in a community/church of conservative Christians.

 

As someone who is not, the most I can usually do is point out the categories don't line up with as much certainty as some would like. History matters in ways that erode the unproblematic faith of traditionalist Christianity. One can in fact be moral without being Christian, or even a theist. Gay people can be good parents, and so on. All of those statements are things I can back up empirically with evidence and research.

 

But the other thing isn't about rationality, but rather identity and community. If one cares about Christianity as an identity and as a community, and if one has been taught over and over that certain ideas are part of the package deal and must be accepted... well... nevermind reason, if its meaningful, he or she will buy in. It is important to show that one can be Christian in other ways, that Christian community can exist in other ways. This a strange sort of reverse-apologetics, but it's useful and important.

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Nick's made some good points with which I basically concur. I can only speak to this from my own background and my own experiences, so please keep that in mind. Although I've never known what it is like to be Eastern Orthodox or Catholic, I suspect (but someone please correct me if I am wrong) that these forms of Christianity along with most forms of Protestantism peddle mainly in guilt and the "problem of sin", which usually comes down to some kind of purity system being pushed upon people. "We are separated from God," so the mantra goes, and we either have to do something or believe something in order to fix that problem so that "sinful us" can go to be with a "holy God" after we die. So communities form (churches, denominations, sects, etc.) in order for groups of people to wrestle with this "problem" and to try to come with answers as how to solve it.

 

This, in my opinion, is all well and good to a certain, limited extent. I suspect that most of us know, not the doctrine of "original sin" as codefied by the Church, but that there is something wrong in us (and without us), that we should be better than we are, left to our own devices. And many of us, though certainly not all, have some sense of something Higher or More or God that we aspire to. Many Christians might call this being more godly or being more like Jesus. And many of us feel that the world should and could be better if (big IF) we could find a way to do it. So these communities form in order to address the human situation and the condition of our world. If enough people can agree on what the "answer" to this problem is, relationships form. Imo, this relationships can be very strong. They were in my life. I put up with a lot of inner turmoil and cognitive dissonance (reasoning conflict) because of the sense of cohesion and identity I felt in the respective churches that I have been in. For a really long time, there were many things said in these churches that I either didn't agree with or that I thought didn't make sense. But because I loved the people there and they loved me, I pushed these things to the back of my mind. I wasn't comfortable doing so, but because I am a social creature, I was willing to somewhat sacrifice reason for the sake of community. After all, I knew that I didn't know all of the answers and I knew that my fellow Christians didn't either (despite some of their bone-headed claims),

 

That changed when they threatened my four-year-old son with hell. In other words, when what they believed got translated into the action of threatening my son with everlasting torment at the hands of Jesus, then my heart would no longer let me push the cognitive dissonance back. I guess to some extent, I didn't care much about the beliefs UNTIL they became harmful. It was at that point that I knew, at least for me, that "good fruit" was not coming from that particular paradigm and that I had to get out.

 

All of that, Yvonne, is to say, from my perspective, that I don't know, in retrospect, if I would have left if I hadn't been so hurt. The sense of community and belonging is a powerful one. And, truth be told, I had some really good friends there. Most of the people were, thankfully, better than the doctrines that they held to. And now, again to be honest, I have no close friends. I go to a Southern Baptist church with my wife because she still finds that paradigm meaningful to her and I respect her journey. But I am a fifth wheel there, a square peg who will never fit into their round holes. And there are no "progressive" churches in my area, at least not within reasonable driving distance.

 

So while I am thankful for PC in that it has helped me with much of my cognitive dissonance, I have no community of friends that I am a part of. PC, as wonderful as it currently exist, is, imo, a very loose network of book authors who deal with the "cognitive dissonance" problems of traditional guilt and sin-based Christianity. But other than this forum (which is a good thing) is has nothing to offer in the way of community. It is, for one thing, to spread out. And the fact of the matter, imo, is that communities form around shared values and beliefs, and with PC's determination not to really define what centrally it is (because it is SO MANY different things), it lacks any kind of core or central message that is at the heart of most "evangelicalism." It's good at deconstruction. It helps us to know what kinds of churches that we DON'T want to be part of. But, imo, it is almost afraid of trying to construct anything new in the place of deconstruction. Therefore, once (or if) we leave our traditional churches, there is no where else to go. We are alone.

 

Given all of this (which, as I said, is my opinion only), am I glad that I am a progressive Christian? Yes. And no. I'm thankful for some of the resolution to my cognitive dissonance that allows me to see God and my faith in new ways. But I miss community. This forum is great...for what it is. But it can't take the place of face-to-face friendships. And PC doesn't really seem interested in offering any "alternative communities" to traditional churches. Emergent Christianity is doing that, but PC is so afraid of what institutional Christian has done and continues to do that it is better at deconstruction than rebuilding. Much of my cognitive dissonance is gone, but I have no close relationships other than with my wife. This is why I have said here on the forum that as long as all PC does is to address "theological problems" without addressing the human need for relationships, it is limping along on one leg and possibly just going in circles arguing over its own de-churched doctrines when what we really want is relationship.

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A very valid concern, I think, Yvonne. I was very much in that place until just a few years ago, living deep inthe heart of conservative evangelical 'red neck' bible belt east Texas. There were certainly no progressive churches, hard to even find one that might be considered moderate. I lived in that isolated state until a big event opened doors that let me discover there were others like me, other options for religious and faith practices and social attitudes....it came in the form of being able to access the internet, which came later for me here than for many, my being in a rural area where even dial-up access without incurring long distance phone charges wasn't available until the mid to late 90's. I wasn't able to experience home access to the internet until 1999. The internet opened up a whole new world I'd never known was there in many many ways. I'm sure it has done the same for others, but I also am aware that there are still many people, especially those of "senior age" that are "not connected" or even computer literate.

 

There is even now not a progressive church within any reasonable driving distance, and those I've found in the nearest urban areas are not only of great distance in miles, but located within relatively up-scale neighborhoods, of a very different socio-economic class and culture from ones like myself. Its hard to even fathom having a sense of shared community there. As I've observed before here, "outreach to the poor" in those communities is taking food backets over to the poor neighborhoods...the poor, the average working class, are "out there"...not in a mean spirited or judgemental way, but simply in being unable to relate, really find common experience upon which to ground personal level relationships.

 

I know there are others like me, like many of us here, in my own community, both geographically and socially, but there are no readily open sources for finding shared community on a local level. I'd suggest that more urban (and urbane) progressive faith communities would better accomplish "outreach" not by taking food baskets to poor neighborhoods, but by working to extend their efforts and resources into establishing "mission outreach" into traditionally and strongly conservative communities, which demographically do tend to have lower average income and educational levels, to create such as small bible study and fellowship groups, to provide a spot of light those seekers might respond to, and present the possiblity of planting the seeds and establishing the roots for new church congregations in those communities.

 

Meanwhile, each of us as individuals can try to be prepared to recognize and nurture those individuals we might encountered personally in our lives. That is perhaps another way the progressive Christian community could help facilitate extending progressive ideas to those seekers...for example, while on such a site as this, tcpc, there are offerred resources for progressive church communities, but what of support for any of us as individuals as we encounter other seekers on a one to one basis in our daily lives? It seems to me many of us could use good, practical, effective resources for how to proceed in these often sensitive encounters. I know that I, and I suspect many others, especially from traditional evangelical backgrounds, have a hard time trying to find an approach and response to potential seekers, that isn't tinged with the same objectionable elements we rejected in our own traditional backgrounds. How do we present, without being preachy or pushy? How do we proceed to test the waters, so to speak, as to just how much another person might be ready for and receptive to, as to difference from the old ways they are seeked to break away from? I find it relatively easy to converse with other progressive such as are here in this forum, most of whom are, like myself, already pretty far down the road in our journey toward progressivism, but tend to fail with fledgling seekers, assuming they are further along than they are, presenting too much that is as yet for them still too far out of their comfort zone.

 

Jenell

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Jenell,

 

:)

 

"Yes, what is missing is personal community with progressive peers..."

 

Yes, this is what I meant. You can say in 10 words what takes me 1000. :lol:

 

"...what can we do about that?"

 

I don't know. Being a "good" PC, I'm better at deconstruction than I am at reconstruction. ;)

 

Seriously, though, I don't know. If I did, I would be doing it. Spong calls many of these folks the "Church Alumni Association." They drop out of church and then have no place (or no one) to go to.

 

Personally, I don't think there is a magic bullet that will fix this. Good, honest relationships are very messy, take a lot of hard work, are often filled with misunderstandings and with plenty of opportunities to ask for forgiveness. Yet, I think that is what God calls us to. The Emergent church has cohorts. Many of them meet, of all things, in bars, pubs, and coffee houses. But they aren't focused on growing huge numbers or building large churches. They are focused on one-on-one relationships (or close to it), where good, intimate (in the right sense of the word) relationships can be built. Theology is, of course, discussed. But theology is not separated (much) from philosophy because they believe that how we think about God has a direct bearing on how we treat one another.

 

As usual, I have 14,000 things banging around in my head, but nothing congeals into a cohesive whole. I just think that real relationships are important and that if we don't emphasize that, all our post-whatever theology is just theologizing.

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Yeah, and i am really just real tired of just having the theologizing and philosophising, like sitting around racing my engine with no transmission engaged...I'd like to have---no, i crave---the sense of the rubber meeting the road in my real life personal interactions, relationships, socializing, and human fellowship. I'm tired of the choice of walking around incognito, an under-cover progressive Christian, to have personal relationships or having none at all...

 

Jenell

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Yep, Jenell, a lot of synchronicity between us at the moment.

 

PC is not my soapbox. I don't think that with where we are right now as a species, often driven by fear and insecurity, PC is for everybody. Many people, dare I say it, need the security and solid answers that the more doctrinal, creedal, and dogmatic forms of Christianity promise. Not everyone would be comfortable with PC and I appreciate what you said about being sensitive to that. But we all, imo, need meaningful relationship, safe relationships that are not constantly threatened by minor disagreements. PC, being as open as it is, could be beneficial in bringing that about...if we knew how to do it.

 

But my guess it that it would take a very fluid or dynamic approach, not the one-size-fits-all methodology of institutional Christianity where everyone is just a number, just a "member" but without meaningful connections.

 

It would be interesting to have an open roundtable to talk, not about the theology of doing something like this, but about the pragmatic side of it.

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Thank you m friends - that is exactly the point I was attempting to make. For many, or most, of us there is no community. That's huge. Like Wayseeker, I had no place to go when the people of my church community deeply wounded me. I turned to books for my answers. Its not that I want to take people away from the churches they are in, but that I want to help those who are hurt or confused or whatever. I'm lucky (or blessed, if you prefer) in that I am capable of reading and understanding people like Bishop Spong, Marcus Borg and Michael Morwood. This is partly because I was already predisposed to be open their theology. I am really hesitant to write this, because its going to sound arrogant, but I don't know how else to put it. Let's face it, the "average American" reads at an 8th grade level, and reading comprehension deterioates rapidly after that. As an example, I remember in college (in 1992) we were assigned a book by Margaret Mead. Over half the class had difficulties understanding it. So much of what is on this forum, I'm sorry to say, is over my head. How much more so would it be for someone with less ability to comprehend than I? And I think I'm barely above-average.

 

So, how can I (or any PC) find and reach out to others who may have had experiences similar to our own, who may not have the same resources we do?

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How can we, as PCs reach out to people who are stuck and don't know there is an alternative?

 

There are moderate churches (more than you might think ) that would welcome a progressive arm so to speak. But you have to be prepared to be challenged.

 

I can tell you from my point of view .. faith or spirituality or what ever you call it is meant to be shared. We have a responsibility to society to challenge as we are being challenged. It takes determination, confidence and thick skin.

 

MLK said it best in his letter from the Birmingham jail when he said we speak with our silence.

 

There are other ways where one doesn't have to stick his/her neck out quite as far. ... Start a at home study group on PC topics and see where it takes you.

 

My situation grew out of one of these groups that met at a moderate church. We started with "Living the Questions"and grew together. We now are the dominate group in the church. It has been done with Love for ALL. We have had to endure some criticism but it has been generally smoother than I would have guessed. I am great-full for those who came before me , were willing to stick their neck out so I could find a place for me and I intend to risk a bit of myself to someone else.

 

I have come to really enjoy this place. While most of you are so far above my head I often fell I have nothing of worth to add, I read and learn from all of you. I do feel that at times this place acts as a bit of a sanctuary for some cheating society of a message that they desperately need to hear.

 

I hope I didn't offend

 

steve

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Yvonne...browse "zone of proximal development"....its when we've gotten in over our heads that real learning takes place.

 

On average reading and comprehension levels, I agree. My college experience is still quite recent...my freshman year was 2001. And I well remember how many poor kids came in eager and confident with their excellent high school gpa's soon melt into bewilderment at how utterly unprepared they really were. One of the most telling occasion for me was in Englsh comp and Rhetoric, as the instructor would have students exchange papers so as to critiue one another. It was down right embarrassing, they were often so bad I couldn't bring myself to really say all what was wrong with most those papers. At the same time, I came out of those exercises with nothing useful in the way of crtitique of my own papers, those poor kids were in awe of my papers and weren't qualfied to help me find my own errors and weaknesses.

 

Jenell

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Murmsk. that is likly the case in many areas...but I assure, you, not at all in my community...believe me, I've searched, and in this community, 'moderate' whether in context of religion, politics, or social issues, is viewed as almost as dirty a word as 'progressive' or 'liberal.' Seriously.

 

Jenell

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There are areas of Texas where there are more progressive thinkers, and Christian communities/churches. Just not within many miles of here.

Yes, the thought of trying to see if there is enough interest among a few to approach something like that. I'm not sure how to go about it, though...I don't know about a newspaper ad, to be honest there's not many that read the small local newspaper, there's not much to it. Those that do mostly read it online for local news, there's not much of a classified section or advertising to it anymore. Ideas I've considered, maybe flyers posted at local busnesses and public boards, maybe trying to put something together to post on Facebook, asking my few local contacts to share on their other local friends' pages, hoping for a grapevine effect....though the prevalence of conservative fundamentalism here makes that awkward not just with my own contacts, but any locals they may have as contact that would find such an idea highly offensive and threatening to their own beliefs. Have you seen how conservative/fundamentaists portray progressive and liberal Christians? Browse the topic on UTube and be ready for a nasty shock...they demonize us! In some ways, worse than they do pagans and wiccans, because we DO dare call ourselves Christians.

 

I thought if I tried something like that, a contact email address my be better, both because i really can't see spending money out of pocket to rent a post box for a year or whatever the minimum is, for something that may not even get any interest, and so few people bother with 'snail mail' anymore.

I think I'm being realistic in thinking while I'm sure some are out there, they are spread pretty thin, and those willing to get involved in just getting it started even thinner. And remember that many of those that might have potential interest are not in the habit of attending any organized or group religious related gatherings, many are very wary of a new "religious" oriented group, as most of us that have suffered painful "church burn" ourselves are well aware.

 

I've also considered maybe even not referencing "progressive" at the start might be wise, perhaps something like you menteioned, a study group about living the questions, a non-denominational, ecumenical study group based on applying principles of Jesus' teachings to our own lives, personal growth and development, making the focus on understanding, applying, and living Jesus's teachings, apart from salvation doctrines and the like. Something like that might feel 'safer' to uncertain seekers..keeping in mind many of those seeking may be in those earlier stages with limited experience with the ideas we talk about Progresssive Christianity. liberal theology, post-modernism, etc,,,ie they are likely quite theologically naive and unexposed to much we here take for granted.

 

But its simmering on the back burner, anyway.

 

Jenell

 

PS, steve wrote: I do feel that at times this place acts as a bit of a sanctuary for some cheating society of a message that they desperately need to hear.

 

Thank you. That pricks me a bit, and i needed to hear it,

Edited by JenellYB
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Btw, Steve, that last past you wrote, I have to be honest. One BIG reservation for me in such an idea is that what might be more likely to come of it than my finding for myself a community of peers, those with which I can share and discuss like i can here, is that I'd find myself cast into the role of leader/teacher/guide/counseler, simply by way of being the only one with any real education and experience in these ideas, trying to lead a flock of babes....and that's terrifying! The sheer responsibility inherent in it, to not confuse or hurt anyone or lead any astray, let alone feeling overwhelmingly unprepared and unqualified for such a role!

 

Jenell

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I'm probably the last one who should offer any advice as to how to address this situation because I don't belong to any successful "progressive Christian" groups (other than this virtual one). But, here are a few of my thoughts anyway.

 

I'm not a reconstructionist, in that I don't think we need to get back to doing church the first century way. Nevertheless, I find some wisdom in Jesus' approach. First, he had what the Bible calls signs and wonders. I don't want to get into the "literalness" of these (because I think that misses the point), but I see them as attention-getters. In other words, Jesus "did things differently" from his surrounding culture and religion. I don't interpret these as proofs that he was God, but, rather, as actions that made people question, "Why is he doing that?" He went against the social and religious norms of his day. He touched lepers. He talked with adulterers and forgave them. He ate with sinners. He was accused of breaking Jewish religious laws. And these actions, imo, made people wonder what made him tick. The theology, such as it was, came AFTER he got their attention through radical actions. Maybe this has some application to us today. Maybe rather than pushing PC theology, we could "act" in ways that would make people wonder why we are different? Instead of forcing ourselves where we are not wanted, we would be responsive to the interest of those who are curious as to what this "alternative way" of being a Christian is.

 

Churches are, to me, a hard sell. Not impossible, but difficult. The conservative, evangelical ones are so doctrinally bound that it would be almost impossible to bring in "alternative ways". And the mainline ones are so traditionally boundup in keeping the institution going that they would be skeptical of "alternative ways." I realize that there are exceptions, especially in the mainline churches, but I still think it is generally true.

 

I don't think trying to convert the church is the answer. PCs are, to me, not necessarily "better" Christians, just Christians of a different type. So I wouldn't be for trying to evangelize the church, per se.

 

So is the best option to leave the church? Maybe. Or maybe, as has been suggested, start a small group in someone's home. That's how the early church started.

 

At the same time, the early church did go to synagogue. They were faithful Jews. But it seems that what the synagogue didn't cover (Jesus and his teachings), they took up in the home, at least until the split.

 

So maybe some of us want or need to stay in institutional Christianity while offering another "alternative way" outside of its doors. Of course, depending on the church, this could cause trouble. There is always a cost to be counted, right?

 

I would love to start a small group in my home. Sort of a "Conservative Christians Anonymous." I'm open to doing so. And I have gently put out a few "feelers" in Sunday School that were questions about how and why we interpret things a certain way. But I am usually shutdown pretty quick as everyone tends to nod their head along with the Sunday School lesson and teacher.

 

We had an Emergent cohort here in Fort Worth for a couple of years. I went a few times. It was nice. But it lacked...direction. It was all about sitting meditating with candles. That's okay for some folks and I sometimes enjoy it. But I just feel, for me, that Jesus calls us to do more than that in a hurting world.

 

Well, these are just a few rambling thoughts, what's banging around in my head (and heart).

Edited by Wayseeker
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*sigh*

I think I'm discouraged.

 

Today, a new member started a thread called 'Why don't God show himself to everybody". The poster is clearly someone who believes, if not bible inerrancy, certainly bible literalism. Yet, the answers to his/her post clearly were coming from a PC pov. That's fine as far as it goes, but if we continue to address concerns from our pov, how can we meet those different from us? How can we communicate effectively if we continue to write to master-level theologians and philosophers if our audience is not that well educated, or not educated in those disciplines?

 

I think what we have in this forum is wonderful - I appreciate the integrity and honesty and wisdom and knowledge you all have. I'm not complaining. I'm trying to find a way to bridge the gap from what we know (or are trying to understand) and with people who are discouraged and disgusted with what they have known in their fundamentalist or traditional communities. Perhaps I'm not asking the right question.

*sigh*

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Yvonne, i think you are very much asking the right question.

 

I don't know the answer either. I kida think that's what we are looking for here. How do we bridge that gap? How do we bring it down from the mountain-top to the ordinary people living in the valley.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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I partly disagree with your assessment of that thread, Yvonne.

 

The original post was an invitation to theologize. There's really no other way to describe a post where someone offers a list of statements in a logical sequence and asks for people to comment on them. The fact that the thread remained about analysis should, IMHO, neither be a problem, nor be seen as a mistake. Given the lack of information in the original post about either the conversation in question or the poster's opinions, it is pretty reasonable how people reacted. We'll see how he reacts. And as I can remember all of 3 posts by him, I'm not going to try and peg where he fits.

 

So... that's where I disagree.

 

However, your post does make me realize something I did not do, and perhaps should have done: offer a positive argument. Critique is necessary, and relativizing statements about how there is a multitude of opinions is necessary, but neither actually tells you anything, offers something to push back against. There is no statement of belief in "Well, it depends." I should have stated what I actually believed, as best as I could. And I didn't. In an analytical discussion as the OP started, we can't go very far without positive arguments. So, to answer your question, that's what was missing in that thread. And not just statements of faith, but actual argument, done as respectfully and as politely as possible. People need to engage.

 

Now, the world is not just an analytical argument. A forum isn't even just a rational debate either. So, I don't think this is the entire answer, but it's the answer for that thread.

 

EDIT: I made this comment from memory, and as such hadn't seen the last two or three posts.

Edited by Nick the Nevermet
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Yvonne, I agree with Jenell, you are asking the right questions. There are bridge-builders and bridge-burners. I believe God calls us to be bridge-builders. Not only that, I believe we best build bridges, not by trying to bring people up to "our level" (ha ha - what hubris!) but by serving them in love. Imo, Jesus doesn't call us to be "progressive Christians" or to push "progressive Christianity." He calls us to love God and to love others, to live out the Golden Rule. As long as PC is a "tool" that we use constructively to build bridges to others, to validate their worth and their "belovedness" to God, to help us bring these core teachings of Jesus out of theology into practice, I think PC is a good thing. But like any tool, it can be turned into a weapon that invalidates others and diminishes their felt worth to God.

 

I can so related to what you said earlier about much on this forum being WAY over my head. Some of our participants here (and I admire them) are so well-read and so well-educated that I feel as though I am at the Dr. Suess level in most conversations. So I tend to remain quiet because I don't "speak the language." That's okay. We all have different needs and gifts. But, to me (and maybe I think this because I am so ignorant), a good communicator is not defined by his/her high level of language and his/her ability to linguistically blow others away, but by his/her ability to not only make himself/herself understood to all and to put himself/herself into the shoes of the other. Metaphorically, Jesus isn't a good Lord because he stills the storm, but because he stoops to wash the feet of his disciples. This is why I said in another thread that if PC is just another "head trip", I'm not much interested. I want to see some hands and feet and be part of the Body.

 

As usual, see my sig below. :)

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WS, i think you contribute significantly here. I find both you and Yvonne often help me realize I need to bring my own feet back down onto the ground. Finding the practical, down to earth ways to express things in the common everyday language and imagery that is more widely understandable is an extremely valuabe gift and way of contributing. Thank you both.

Jenell

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I had to revisit this question one more time because it has been cropping up in my reflection.

 

I would be willing to bet (and I don't gamble, much :P ) that there are many people out there who are in situations in which they question, doubt, or just plain don't believe what their fellow church members are telling them. Many on this forum have indicated a point in their lives when they were hurt, confused, and/or ostracized by their fundamental or traditional church community because they dared question. Those of us in this forum community are blessed in that we were able to respond to our questions and doubt with intellectual integrity and were able to find a belief system (dynamic as it may be) with which we could live.

 

I like to call this period a kind of rebirth. That period where one can accept a certain amount of doubt, when prayer becomes more, where the acceptance of scientific, anthropological, and historical facts increase wonder rather than threaten our faith. I wish that when I was going through my rebirth there would have been a resource available to me much sooner. Someone who could have told me that doubt was okay, that it was okay to question things like the Trinity, biblical inerrancy, and Jesus' divinity. Perhaps if I had support sooner, my rebirth would not have been quite so traumatic. While some struggle in rebirth/growth may be inevitable, is it necessary to be so traumatized by it all?

 

So, I will post the question again. What can I do to reach out to others who may be in those first stages of questioning so support them?

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Yvonne,

Perhaps you might see this as some kind of 'cop out' but i think when the time is right the resource appears for the one that is ready.. Would have been and could have been's have no place in my reality. They are hypotheticals. I believe we are all connected and in a sense, there are no accidents. You ask... "What can I do"...

Follow the leading within yourself as best as you can and your foot steps will be directed. No need to be anxious over anything. Everything comes in time and if you do take a detour or turn that lengthens your walk, perhaps it was necessary. No one can walk straight except he/she be led by a greater power than self. Walk in confidence and synchronicity will rule.

 

Just my thoughts on your post and question,

Joseph

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