Monday, May 01, 2006

Leaving the Ministry

Anyone who has been a reader for a while knows that I used to be a youth pastor of sorts. I was never given that title officially because I didn't have a college degree. [Aside: Peter was an illiterate, or at best a semi-literate, fisherman. According to this logic, he would not be allowed to even hold an associate pastor position.] But I was basically doing the same job, only without any pay. I have always disagreed with the church on a number of points, but I had always been able to gloss over it. But the cognitive dissonance finally got to me and I left the church. But I still live in the area, so I have had a lot of opportunities to see just how much of the crap Christians say they believe ever makes it to practice. For all but a few of them, the answer turns out to be "very little" as N & I have suddenly become invisible. I figured it was just that church, or denomination, or town, but it seems that it is more universal. I should feel vindicated, but mostly I just feel sad. How can so many people devote their lives to studying a book and still miss its primary message?

In a similar line of thought, My niece, N, and I darkened the door of a church Sunday for the first time in 2006. It's part of the "alt-worship" scene and grew in part out of a vision of one of my former partners in my college study group. We spent literally thousands of hours over an 18-month period developing what a church could look like if convention was thrown out of the window. It's still a work in progress, but it looks promising. I'm certainly not ready to jump back in with both feet, but I'll be lurking around the fringes for a while.


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