Confession: I haven’t set foot inside a church building since Maundy Thursday, and that was part of my son’s assignment for his comparative religion class.
Call it limbo. Call it transition. Call it whatever you will, I’m in a strange place.
Why, you ask? Because I can no longer subscribe fully to all the tenets and practices of my denomination. Wait, you say, I thought you were non-denominational… yeah, I was. I still am. But I no longer agree 100 percent with some of the tenets of my “faith camp.”
Do I still believe in God? Without a doubt. Do I still call upon Jesus as my Lord and Savior? Absolutely.
But I have questions and concerns about the doctrines I accepted and adopted as a young believer, and those questions and concerns have led me to pull back, to seek the Lord privately and personally, for direction, for guidance, and for instruction.
Am I angry, bitter, resentful, or upset with my former church or its members? No.
Do I believe God is calling me to something different? Something that doesn’t quite fit within the practicum of the church in which I learned faith and attained a place of leadership? Yes.
The trouble, I find, comes in the explanation. When asked, I’m tempted to tell people I’ve decided to become a Catholic. Catholic means “universal church,” so I wouldn’t be fibbing, technically. Besides, I really like Pope Francis.
Seriously, though, it’s hard to explain to friends from church why I’m not there. People who leave the church are angry. Or backslid. Or rebellious sheep. By leaving the church they are leaving God. Or so I believed. And now I find myself wearing their shoes, though I’m hungrier for God and His Spirit and His wisdom and guidance and purpose than ever…. Wanna talk about confused?
I can’t even put it into words, and for a writer, that’s a terrifying conundrum.
For my friends and loved ones, I love you. If you’re connected to the church, go, listen to the Holy Spirit, obey. And if you’ve already fallen OUT of the church spectrum for whatever reason… LISTEN to the Holy Spirit, obey, and be the child of God you were created to be. Love, believe, forgive, show mercy, do what’s right, fellowship with other believers… whether in the church or “out” of the church, after all, Jesus didn’t come to establish a church, or a religion. He came to establish a one-on-one relationship. Where that relationship leads you is between you and Him.