Last night, an earthquake struck my house. I was in a rather heated, frustrating exchange
Last night, an earthquake struck my house. I was in a rather
heated, frustrating exchange with a fundamentalist who has been
looking for a reason -- any reason -- to declare that I am not
a "true Christian". The earthquake happened when he made a
comment that was worthy of serious contemplation. He said that
in his observation, there was not a single Christian that I
liked. While that is not entirely true, I have to admit that
the overwhelming majority of those who publically state their
Christianity behave in ways that grate on my nerves -- by
assuming that they have special status worthy of respect, by
assuming that they, and they alone, are going to be able with
a few short words, to bring a nonbeliever to Christ, and by
assuming that they are so RIGHT that they can decide and tell
me that I am "wrong" in my views (and hinting ominously of dark
and terrible things that await if I don't fall into lock step
Now, in any other situation, there would be no difficulty -- if
I dislike the majority of the group with which I am affiliated,
the only honest and sensible thing to do is to leave the group.
Suddenly, as I mulled over last night's exchange, it became
apparent that I have been sliding into a situation where I am
every bit as big a joke as Grigor-Scott or Prewett, because like
them, I have made the assumption that I have a claim to the word
Christian, in spite of overwhelming evidence that my views do not
co-incide with the majority, or even with any significant
minority. It seems gross absurdity to be be told repeatedly
that what I believe is not "correct" Christian theology, and
to still insist on any claim to the title.
I believe those who have told me this are sadly mistaken in their
idea of what Christ would have us do in return for His prescence
in our lives, but I can no longer argue whether or not their
being mistaken entitles them to the word "Christian." They have
the numbers on their side, and it is obviously I who have been
mistaken in what is involved in membership within the Christian
To stay places the Body in jeopardy, or so I have been told,
countlessly, by those who would say that if I MUST hold divergent
views, I should at the least keep silent about them out of
loyalty to the faithful. I cannot do that -- I do not suffer
hypocrisy lightly, even less when I am the author of it. If
the only way to avoid damaging those who are Christians is to
cease to be one, or cease to be me, then I must choose the
I believe it is what God would have me do, rather than wear His
Son's name falsely.
I have given considerable thought to this, and what it means for
me. Last night was simply the last straw on the back of a camel
that has grown increasingly overburdened for the last few weeks.
I am not sure that it means anything in regard to what I
believe -- and what I don't believe. But it does mean no
longer belonging to that arena of Christian life that is corporate,
and that is something that I have considered important to my
expression of my faith. I read Kevin McKenzie's account of his
drop from the faith, and was grieved to read that he felt no
response. I have felt what I believe to be God's response to
this decision -- the same response he has always given -- "I gave
you a mind, Lynda. Think it out carefully. What do YOU think you
I can only say that I am doing this soberly, and that it is in God's
hands to decide whether or not He will accept my decision or not.
Either way, I have to choose what I think is best for all concerned.
I expect there will be those here who will crow that they KNEW I
wasn't a True Christian, and be very relieved not to have to deal
with me on their "team". There will also be those who read this
with sorrow (Al, I am deeply sorry for that). There will be some
who claim it as a "kill" and perhaps do a little victory dance,
and I hope there will be a few who realize that while this is no
occasion for rejoicing, it is not the end of the world, either.
And of course there will be many who simply don't care.
At any rate, I don't think this will make much difference in the
quality or style of my posts, or in what issues catch my attention.
I hope it will not change anything in regards to who I consider
friend. But I have tried where possible to be honest, even in this
echo where honesty is a landmine for the unwary, and I cannot in
good conscience be pointed to as an example of Christianity, when
Christianity has made it so clear that it does not want my kind
within its ranks.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank