have you outgrown your container?

have you outgrown your container? April 6, 2013

park and drive cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
(click on image to shop OR contact David for originals and prints of his work)

This is one of my personal favorites. Sarah. Park and drive. I posted it a year ago and it received many comments. I think it stirred up a lot of stuff for many people.

This is how most of my friends, including members of The Lasting Supper, experienced their departure from church. Mine included. I mean, my departure was precipitated by some events, but it was the culmination of many years of not being able to call it home anymore. Some people leave, it is true, because of a critical event. But my observation is that most leave for the same reason Sarah did in this cartoon. They just can’t do it anymore. It’s an intellectual crisis.

On a Potluck Hangout we had last night, “I Think I’m An Atheist”… we’ve made this one public so that you can watch it… a couple of our participants said that they were about 16 years old when they really began asking questions and were met with resistance. Rather than helping people realize that questions were a natural and healthy development in one’s spirituality, they instead were told they were being difficult and even unbelieving. They were treated like second-class citizens, rebels and perhaps traitors. There was no longer any room for them. This initiated their progression, or digression depending on which perspective you come from, into agnosticism and eventually, for some, atheism. Their departure from church and sometimes religion was not like an explosion but more like a slow drifting away. They outgrew the limiting containers that were provided for them.

I believe it is possible to be spiritually healthy within the church. Especially if you can find a church that partners with you in your journey. I also believe it is possible to be spiritually healthy outside the church. Especially if you can find people to partner with you in your journey there.

What’s most important is that you think and act honestly, no matter where this brings you, inside or out.

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