My Journey through Christendom
As an only child I lived through WWII and watched some of what was going on in the skies over Southern England as the Germans attacked London. Growing up after the war there was no TV; no computers; food was rationed; and we had to make our own amusements!
Neither of my parents who left school at 13 and 14, ever owned a Bible and only ever went to church for weddings and funerals. I was ‘forced’ to go to a Baptist Sunday School from the age of 9 with an acquaintance of my father, because my parents wanted me to be better educated than they were.
I have no recollection of ever doubting the existence of ‘God’ but just before I was 14 I realised that what I was being taught about the trinity just did not make sense – and that was when I walked away for the first time. Those doubts about the trinity have stayed with me and have had a very significant impact on my understanding of the Christian faith ever since!
My next real encounter with Christianity was when I was 23. I had moved to London and offered to help run a Cub Pack attached to an Anglican Church.The boys were expected to attend a Church Parade once a month. I knew almost nothing about the teachings of the Church but was taken through a 6 week Confirmation class and confirmed within a few months. It was at this church that I met and married my wife in 1960 and then moved away from London. Less than three years later I was treasurer of the local church. A couple of years later I was also persuaded to become secretary of a new Community Association, as well as having a full time job. I gradually became ‘disillusioned’ with what I saw as the lack of ‘radical’ Christianity, and an inability to get answers to some of my questions (including an explanation of the trinity), and finally ‘walked away’ in the early 1970’s – the beginning of what I now see as my first wilderness experience – before becoming a member of a Sabbath-keeping Christian church (seen by some at the time as a cult).
It was in 1995 that I was faced with a traumatic experience when the leadership of the church we were attending announced that much of their theology was misguided. That announcement ‘destroyed’ our family of 14 (related by marriage) and ‘forced’ me to reconsider just about everything I had ever been taught – the beginning of what I now see as an on-going second wilderness journey, without ever doubting the existence of ‘God’ (although my understanding of that word has changed significantly over the years), but that is a very long story – see here.
My blog started as a web site in 2000 and has now been a work-in-progress for 17 years. By 2005 I was very involved with the emerging / emergent and house church scene. I was able to follow the blogs of several Bible College students in America as they reconsidered what they had been, or were being taught, including two who subsequently became atheists.
A few months ago I decided to step back and reorganise my blog so that I could concentrate my thoughts on a limited number of topics. This has proved to be far more difficult than I expected, and I’m still considering a few aspects of that reorganisation.
My formal education ended when I was 17. I was talking to my grandson last year when I realised that my life has consisted of two quite separate journeys. There was the Christian journey and there was the world of a computer programmer and business analyst (very analytical and methodical) that started in 1967 when some mainframe computers had only 4K of memory! These journeys only really came together when I was made redundant again in 1990, when I bought my first PC with 512K of memory and an 80MB hard disk! I first had a dial-up internet connection in 1997– it’s hard to remember how much things have changed since then!
You can see a draft of my introduction here.