Overcoming my unbelief.

For the last two years, we have not served in a church or participated in a church. My “breakup” with the church was far more personal and painful than I ever expected.  I never expected “my God” to allow such harm to come to us. You see, God was the one who loved me unconditionally.  I was from a rough home, a rough family life that told me I wasn’t good enough, so God was my comforter, my shield. Our breakup from the church was so much more painful than anything I had experienced in my past, because I never believed that God would allow me to enter into that kind of pain in His name.

In these past two years, our views on others and love have changed, and for the better. I believe that. More than that, I have entertained seeds of doubt about God: Does God really exist? Does God really care? Is God the active, intimate Being that we proclaim? Is religion even necessary? Does it do any good?

I’ve felt the pressure to walk away from God.  So many of the intelligent, wonderful people I look up to have done the same. Would I proclaim myself to be foolish and simple for continuing to follow God?  Also, would it align me with the people who say and do terrible and awful things in the name of the Lord? I don’t want to be known as judgmental and angry. Can I love the earth and want to take care of it and still be a believer? Can I care about the “least of these” and be aligned with the American Church?

The truth is: so many terrible, awful things have been done and said in the name of the Lord, and they have been lumped under the term “conservative Evangelicals.”  But the actions of the few (majority) cannot change what I feel in my heart. I cannot walk away from the teachings of Jesus. I feel compelled to follow Him.  I am also entering into this time with my spiritual jargon in disarray. I cannot use the old phrases anymore without needing to know exactly what I am saying. I cannot teach my child blindly.

It’s a disbelieving, agnostic world we live in.  That will not change.

Every day I encounter a thought, a bold word of unbelief, and I have to ask myself, “Will I believe this? Or will I follow what I am not sure of, even if this makes me look like a simpleton?” Perhaps this is real faith — following when you know the other side.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Megan Card on July 19, 2011 at 7:32 am

    April,
    Know that you are not walking through this journey alone. Praying for you and Todd as you continue to seek after Him.

    Reply

    • Thanks, Megan. It’s so refreshing to be in kindred spirit! I think that I’m experiencing faith for REAL now, you know?

      Reply

  2. Posted by Ashley on July 19, 2011 at 8:56 am

    April,
    Thank you! You dare to talk about real things. Sometimes as Christians we think we have to sugar coat our lives because we are supposed to be happy all the time! My Church is messed up. Sadly I have never been a part of a stable church family and really don’t know what it’s like. I envy those who have amazing church families and those that actually feel loved and comfortable in their church. I think sometimes it would be easier not to belong. To just do whatever I want. I am determined to find the love that is talked about in the bible. Maybe it has to do with me looking in the wrong place for love and acceptance. I always appreciate your honesty. Know that Matt and I keep you in our prayers.

    Reply

    • Thanks. I never realized how much harder it would be as adults. I know now why childlike faith is so important. I’ve looked for love and acceptance in places with “lovers less wild,” and they never seem to meet up with Jesus. Like you, I’ve looked in the wrong place, and I definitely think it seems easier not to belong. However, when I find myself at a crossroads, I find that I cannot turn away from what my heart is telling me to follow. 🙂 Love you girl.

      Reply

  3. I hate to always be “that guy” that posts links to books and websites on your blogs. But I wouldn’t do so if I didn’t really think they were pertinent.

    A seminary professor I had has written a lot about what he calls “post-conservatism.” It’s difficult to explain the concept in only a few words, but it is basically a reaction to what some have come to view as “normal” Christianity. Here are a couple of his books that deal with this subject:

    http://www.amazon.com/Reformed-Always-Reforming-Postconservative-Evangelical/dp/0801031699/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1311089535&sr=8-6

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Evangelical-without-Being-Conservative/dp/0310283388/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1311089535&sr=8-8

    I haven’t read these personally, so I may not ascribe to all that he says. But I know many who have echoed your thoughts have found encouragement in his writings.

    Blessings!

    Reply

    • 🙂 I don’t think you’re “that guy.” Besides, I find that reading and exploring it important and helpful. I have no problem looking up to those smarter than I! Thanks. I’ll check it out. I really appreciate your last link!

      Reply

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