Food for Thought

I stopped attending church in 2009 and by 2012 when I was 77, I sensed that I had a faith that I could hold on to ‘loosely’. Here are a few of many ‘bullet points’ that I collected over the years. Each one of these could be the subject of an interesting discussion, but my purpose here is to bring these together as a reflection of some of the many aspects of that faith that I had been able to hold on to ‘loosely’!

  • We are what we think.
  • Wilderness experiences – when the old answers no longer make sense, we are forced to ask new questions!
  • The unanswered questions aren’t nearly as significant as the unquestioned answers.
  • As one former pastor said, “Don’t people realise that I want to leave the institution so that I can really connect with people?”. But others say that if we cut ourselves off from the fire it is likely to go out!
  • ‘Christians’ are encouraged to feel good about themselves, but how often do they try to ignore the emptiness they feel deep inside?
  • How many recognise that their Christian experience feels empty – and maybe think that they are the only ones who feel that way? How many settle for the status quo?
  • How many people see God as being there to meet our needs and guide us through the difficulties of life – not unlike pagan worship? Church for some people seems to exist to get people through one meaningless week after another!
  • Traditional churches restrict growth, discovery and creativity – a college where the students never graduate – passive observers!
  • How might you respond to someone who says, “I don’t believe in God?” How about, “Tell me something about this god that you don’t believe in. Maybe I don’t believe in him either”.
  • Our faith is based on our own ‘world view’. But ‘wrestlers’ – those who question – are uncomfortable companions – especially for those who feel the need for ‘certainty’.
  • Theologians seem to need an answer for everything – no room for mystery – people who are set in their ways need to feel safe.
  • Religion / theology removes the mystery – if we rely on second-hand teaching we will remain shallow and may wither in the heat of the day!
  • Some people need the freedom to explore the questions without being given the answers – the need to do their own exploring!
  • It is only by talking about our faith that we are able to share and develop it?
  • The self image – how we feel about ourselves affects how other people feel about us?
  • The three selves – the pretend self (the image we project because we are afraid) – the negative self-image (that we are afraid of) – the authentic self?
  • Obligation is the cage – cages stunt growth – but some cannot thrive outside the box!
  • As a friend said, “Church was a duty not a joy – bondage – a university course that never ends – a lack of life – now embarked on a spiritual adventure – while God removes the habits of slavery”?
  • Good conversation makes others curious – short on answers – long on questions – the need to encourage people to think – be gentle – respect – interact
  • Three ways to live – rebelliously – religiously – relationally!
  • Rebels may be in the early stages of the journey out of conformity
  • Are we prepared as rebels, to challenge the status quo? Do we have a vision that cannot accept the status quo?
  • Do we know the voice of God, or are we following the ideas of men?
  • Many people have nobody with whom they can discuss the deeper things of life!
  • How many people are withering in church but are not being noticed?
  • We need to be able to express our frustrations in order to move on
  • We cannot live off of someone else’s relationship with God! There are perhaps times when we need to beware of assisting others too much?
  • Hidden treasure within the field of our own experience!
  • Learn to appreciate the world around us and its beauty – that hasn’t yet been destroyed by the stupidity of men!
  • Spirit life is like a river – the moment it stops flowing it begins to stagnate?
  • How many people worship a God of their own creation?

See “More Thoughts”

2 Responses to Food for Thought

  1. ReBecca says:

    Very interested in your observations and your journey. I have been called to the dark night of the soul, the wilderness several times over. I find myself now asking questions I have dared not to even think. Not sure where I am at, but for now I am where I am suppose to be. Not sure how long I shall be here. Once again I find myself teetering on the verge of Wonderland for I am like Alice who fell down the rabbit hole and God is the Mad Hatter

    • Peter says:

      There have been times when I have been alone on what seem to be very narrow paths. There were lessons to be learned. I have then reached what seem to be plateaux where I was able to share ‘notes’ with others who were on their own unique journeys. We found common ground for a season and then went separate ways depending on our unique skill sets and experience – keeping in touch occasionally with at least some of those people.

      If at any time you would like to ask questions or share your thoughts please feel free.

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