Commitment-Phobe: A break from church-shopping
I think I am going to take a break from church-shopping. I have been going to church for almost a year now and it has made me realise that I enjoy communion with others; that singing and dancing help me to connect to some mystery of life and feel elation; that a simple focus on the good we can do and on how small we are is good for you. A search for higher purpose is good for you too, and, aimed safely, can do others good.
Do I believe in a creator? Yes. Do I believe in the enormous power of love? Yes. Do I believe there have been huge moments in history when we have connected with this other? Yes. But do I understand or agree with everything set out in the Gospels or taught by the founders of the Christian Church? I am really not sure. Which is a bit of a problem.
Heaven and hell, believers and non-believers. Such clear definitions don’t ring true to me when we are dealing with the source of all life and creation. Nor when we are talking of love. As a parent, I can’t imagine ever rejecting my child, no matter what their crime, and a God of love would, I imagine, feel similarly. So how can unbelievers get punished at the end of days? Or am I just reading it wrong, again?
I am patiently waiting for September when some of these questions might be answered for me at the local Alpha course. I found this through my toddler’s playgroup, run by a lady who not only remembers all the steps to “Wind the bobbin up” but is also the Alpha course leader. She recommended that I use a study guide as a way into reading the Bible and getting more from it. So I’ll give that a go…
This is an extract from the July/August 2014 edition of Reform.