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Reform Magazine | December 7, 2023

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Commitment-Phobe: First class

Commitment-Phobe: First class

commitment-phobe-crop“I need a programme which will end with me
 saying: ‘I am a Christian. Here is my certificate’”

Having decided to move on from atheism, Commitment-Phobe is on a search for God

The Alpha course is for people with questions about Christianity, and as I start mine, my main question is: Why am I doing this? I guess I am one of those people who like to do courses in things – the same way I like to read all the instructions before I switch a new phone on. I get a sense of security from feeling like I understand something clearly before I try it. When it came to giving birth, I took an NHS class and an NCT class, neither of which made any difference to the final outcome, but they helped me to commit to the inevitable. And I guess that is the logic behind going to Alpha. I am not a lapsed Christian, so I need to enter a programme which will end with me saying: “Yes, I get it, I am a Christian now. And here is my certificate to prove it.”

The only problems with my plan is: a) I am scared of joining a cult; b) I am scared of becoming an evangelist and speaking in tongues; and c) I am scared I will like it and actually become a fully signed-up Christian. My best friend is convinced I’ll get kicked out for asking awkward questions about sex before marriage, sexism in mainstream religion, or just coming out with my usual dry remarks about Revelation. So, all things considered, I am not feeling so confident when the evening arrives.

Despite a night off from putting a rowdy toddler to bed and the prospect of a free meal to boot, I turn up almost half an hour late. I tell myself that it’s because I need to fill time between finishing work and the evening class at 7.30 but, really, I am just stalling because the last thing I want to be is first!…


This is an extract from the November 2014 edition of Reform.

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