Commitment-Phobe: Breaking the news
This has been a month of procrastination. I have a Bible to explore, a book called The Case for Christ to read, a faith to commit to, an Alpha course to register for and a church to visit. I am struggling with the concept of committing to one single denomination and wonder if maybe it is possible to continue to go from flock to flock every Sunday depending on my mood. But I am starting to feel like a cad – hit-and-run visits to churches, befriending parishioners then never returning. I am also struggling to fit going to church once a month into my life. On a day off, I am used to: Catching up on sleep, cooking for the family, going to the park, joining friends for brunches, lunches, breakfasts, or just finishing off the huge pile of laundry I started on Saturday.
When I attend a church this month, I rush off afterwards to meet a group of friends for lunch. Until now, I have kept my journey low profile within my social circle, but now I’ve had to explain I couldn’t make brunch at 11am due to church commitments, there is no way this is not going to be a conversation topic. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and my friends’ were full of shock and horror at first. Religion!
So far, I have had a lot of different people say “WHY?!” My favourite objection /worry has been: “You are not going to join a cult are you?” Then there are the horror stories of cover-ups of abuses of power over young and vulnerable people. My friends are starting to tell such stories now the wine is flowing on this holy Sunday. Of course there are cases like this in all walks of life, and most of us agree that this is one of the darker aspects of human nature in general. But there is clearly a feeling that a church cannot be forgiven in any way for being involved in these cases.
This is an extract from the March 2014 edition of Reform.