I walked away from a traditional Anglican church in the UK in the early 1970’s after being treasurer of the local church for 8 years in the 1960’s. I had become disillusioned by what I saw as a lack of ‘radical’ Christianity and an inability to get answers to some of my questions. This was the beginning of my first wilderness experience that lasted several years. Something happened in 1995 that ‘forced’ me to reconsider just about everything I had ever been taught – the beginning of another wilderness experience! I have been using the internet for almost 20 years and this blog started as a web site in 2000 and has been a work-in-progress ever since. I have been able to share stories with over 2,000 people including several Anglican and Evangelical leaders and former leaders. I finally stopped attending church in 2009.
A few years ago it was being suggested that as many as three million people were leaving traditional churches in Europe and North America every year. Some of us even then had been on what we referred to as a wilderness journey for a very long time. A very close friend once said, “Peter, you have the knack of asking some of the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers”. There was a time (especially before we had broadband) when we wondered if many others felt as we did. Now we know that the numbers leaving are still increasing for many diverse reasons.
Where are you now on your journey?
- Maybe you are one of the DONES – Done with Religion – or someone who thinks of themselves as SBNR – Spiritual But Not Religious.
- Perhaps you would describe yourself as an Ex-Christian or Atheist but still looking for opportunities to share your thoughts in a constructive way.
- Many have become ‘disillusioned’ with some aspects of what they had been taught about the Christian RELIGION (or CHRISTENDOM).
[This was an important part of my journey and I have explained in some detail what I mean by this].
- Many people within the different denominations recognise that some things need to change. Others recognise that any denomination can only take its people as far as their own traditions and denominational theology will allow, and are looking for some of those deeper insights.
- Some have been abused by leaders; some are angry that they have been deceived while others have simply let go of what they had been taught.
- Perhaps you have considered some of the very diverse views of people who describe themselves as Progressive Christians where some are working from within while others have moved beyond the confines of their own denomination.
There comes a time in life where we might have to stand back and consider what lessons we have learned in our lives.
Life has been and still is very interesting. I don’t have many real answers because the older I get the the more I realise how little any of us really know. I see myself as a real introvert and a listener rather than a reader. Maybe my story will be helpful for a few people who might have been asking some of the questions that I have been considering for a very long time, without coming to many definitive conclusions.
“Food for Thought” is an introduction to the story of my long journey through Christendom.
“Current Thoughts” jumps straight in.