I hear this question a lot. I get it a lot. I ask it of others. I ask it of myself.
I think there are many more who would like to ask it but can’t.
You may have been taught that questioning makes God angry, and so you are petrified at falling away from their faith.
You may have no one to talk to.
You may be afraid of where it will all lead.
You may be afraid of the fallout in your community–of being ostracized and exiled.
The problem, though, is that most Christians have had unsettling intellectual experiences. (I am confident in claiming this of “most Christians” even though I can’t back it up statistically–I mean, who keeps statistics like this?)
“Intellectual” can mean many different things, of course.
For some of us, it can be things we read and hear, then being left alone with our thoughts once the dust settles.
For others, it is not what we read in books or hear in lectures, but what we have experienced in life–a difficult time, a disappointment, a sorrow, a series of small moments that accumulate over time.
For most of us, it’s both.
So, what I’d like to know from you is:
- What are your one or two biggest obstacles to staying Christian?
- What are those road blocks you keep running into?
- What are those issues that won’t go away and make you wonder why you keep going at all?
If you’d rather not tell us who you are, that’s fine. Post anonymously, or email me at the link to the right (OTprof@mac.com).
I will follow up in some way in a week or two to see where things are.
We’ll see where this goes. The only thing I promise is “no cheap apologetic answers.” They don’t work. If they did, the problem wouldn’t exist.
Encouragement and suggestions are great, but I want to focus on voicing the obstacles and allowing them to just sit for a while–without the fearful need to resolve them right away. Don’t try to fix people.
For those on the Christian path, looking into the dark places, honestly and courageously, is part of the deal (see Psalms or Ecclesiastes).