Preserving Your Faith

A few weeks ago, I came out and said I wasn’t a Christian anymore. Some of you still are a Christian, though, and life has taken you on a different path. I’d like to hear from you.

A good friend, Aaron Gates, told his story here. Aaron shared that he’s still a Christian but had some struggles after he left ministry feeling like he was mourning the loss of friends and the people in ministry that become his family. He also shared that his relationship with God had been formed on what he “had been taught and told and made to experience.”

Aaron entered a journey similar to my own, where he had to decide what he believed, and where he stood on the core issues of life; including where he stood with God.

You may not realize it now, but even in your moments of pain and hurt, you’re on a similar journey.You’re deciding what you believe in (or don’t believe in) and where you’re going to go from here in life.

Now for you to answer:

How has your journey begun, evolved and continued?

Do you still believe in God? If so, how has what you experience strengthened that relationship with God or perhaps allowed you to be more skeptical of that belief?

Did it cause you to be more skeptical of church? If so, what parts of church are still painful to you? Have you found one that you feel comfortable in, or are you still searching?

Who or what has helped you along this journey?

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Lisa Kerr

Lisa is a writer, editor and humorist who has been featured on the Huffington Post, Philly.com, New York magazine, and BreakThru Radio. Find more of her at: thelisakerr.com.

6 Comments

  1. Hi Lisa, it’s your first time here but some of your story is similar to mine (i write about my ex-christian experience on my blog).

    To answer your questions briefly: I am not sure if I believe in g0d now. I call myself an agnostic.

    Did it make me skeptical of the church? Hell yes :)

    I look forward to coming back and reading some more.

    Jonathan from Spritzophrenia :)

    • Jonathan,
      Do you attend church? If not, why? (you can refer me to a post if you have already written on it).
      Was your evolution into agnosticism rapid or progressive? (again, post answers are fine)
      Lisa

      • No, I don’t attend church any more. Haven’t attended for… 4 years? And for several years before that it was maybe 3-4 times per year.

        For multiple reasons, but essentially two: I don’t believe a lot of what is believed in churches, secondly I don’t LIKE church. Even the most “fashionable” church just sickens me culturally. Traditional liturgical churches can be ok, but also sicken me for other reasons.

        Perhaps this would be a good blog topic for me, ‘cos I haven’t written much of the detail of this part of my story.

        My evolution into agnosticism was… slow, I guess. As I’ve said on my blog, I’m an “open agnostic”, meaning I am not an atheist.

        Jonathan :)

        • Jonathan,
          I don’t attend church anymore either. I don’t agree with pastors, the role of pastors, or that showmanship and elaborate ceremonies are necessary to be spiritual. I also feel that pastors are severely undereducated and should be scholars or open to reading scholarly material if they assume a role of teacher.

          What do you mean by “the most fashionable church just sickens me culturally?”

          I think it would be a good blog topic for you–I’d be interested in reading. I also wonder how different or similar churches are in NZ and the U.S. I have a friend who attended Hillsong school of music and it seemed church was very similar in beliefs, but varied a bit (drinking wasn’t discouraged and it seemed to be a little less legalistic in practice). I don’t have a frame of reference for churches in other parts of the world, though. I’m very interested in seeing if this is an American problem or a world-wide problem.

          I do like what you suggested on your site (somewhere) about being more of a solitary practitioner. I think for me, that translates into a spiritual journeyer. And that journey is mostly solitary, with the exception of a few good books I might read, and some Internet companions I find along the way.

          Now I know what “open agnostic” means. Do you ever find that sometimes, some atheists seem very interested in proselytizing their own lack of beliefs?
          Lisa

  2. i don’t attend church either and haven’t for about a yr. if i do go it’s going to be something completely different than what i’m used to.

  3. I didn’t attend church went I left the internship at Healing Place Church.  I tried going there for awhile, but I was continuously treated poorly, so I left.

    My brother was a member of a small church at the time, and he was persistent in encouraging me to attend with him.  He was very kind and gentle about it which is what I needed at the time.  I began attending with him, and it was a safe environment for me to heal.  I served there for awhile, because I believed I had to be a servant to be right with God. 

    After awhile I met the man who is now my fiance.  He attended a small church as well, and I began attending with him.  A lot of kids I went grew up with went to this church, and I trusted them.  We do not attend regularly, and are not your typical cookie cutter Christians.  My fiance taught me that it is ok to be an individual, and that God created me to be who I am.  I learned a lot about grace from him.

    I do not serve at my current church.  I find it to be very uncomfortable to get very involved.  I like to keep my relationship with God personal.

    I highly recommend reading “The Raggamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning for anyone who is still trying to find the truth about God’s grace.

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