It was in December 2013 that André, a formerly committed Christian posted the following on Facebook:
“The unthinkable has happened to me – I do not believe that Jesus Christ is my saviour anymore. No, I have not just quit religion – I have quit JESUS. As Christians would call it: ‘I have lost my first love. I have backslidden. I have rejected my salvation. I am not a Jesus follower anymore”.
He went on to say that he didn’t consider himself to be an atheist, and later wrote, “Christianity is a wonderful crutch. It helps people to make some sort of sense of the inexplicable. It helps many people with a sense of security, that if they have nothing else left, at least they have their faith”. André then went on to ask, “So Who/What is God to Me Now?” and says that he is completely undone and has no idea who God is anymore.
It was in January 2014 that Julie Ferwerda, the author of “Raising Hell” posted the following on Facebook:
I can’t seem to discern fact from fiction . . . with all the data coming at me (historical, mythological, linguistic, religious), I am completely hesitant to think I know ANYTHING about Jesus – his true purpose and position in history. My nagging questions revolve around the fact that I have no peace in trying to worship, pray to, or elevate him anymore.
What if the whole Jesus Religion today came on the heels of zealous, hopeful followers who were ready to mythologise yet another human to demi god status (complete with all the same legends as demi gods of the centuries before)? There is so much misunderstanding, distortion, legend, and deception surrounding the life of Jesus. I guess I need a Damascus Road to figure it out.
So many of the teachers I read now have confirmed my own realization in recent years that “praying” is not what we were taught in church, but is more of contemplation of spirit. I don’t really pray in the traditional sense anymore and have never missed it! I feel more connected to God than ever.
This obviously struck a chord with her readers because there were 325 comments in 5 days, almost all of which were very positive, together with 112 ‘likes’ including one from André whose comments I’ve posted above.
For me these two quotes are very good examples from some of the many journeys that I have been allowed to share over the last ten years or so, as more and more people are being drawn away from traditional Christianity.
I can understand something of where André is on his journey. His question about ‘So Who/What is God to Me Now?’ took me back to 2010 when I was introduced to the writings of Richard Holloway (a former leader of the Anglican Church in Scotland) that really helped to clarify my thinking about what I understood as the myth and symbolism of the book of Genesis. Richard suggested that the symbol ‘God’ seems to be one of the most ambiguous of human inventions.