I grew up in the Church, but my roof started leaking and the walls crumbled.
If you're here, then you're looking for a little bit of context. I like that. And who am I to deprive you of it?
Until a matter of months ago, I would have called myself a Christian. And not just a faithful back-bencher, I was on the front line. For the past decade I had been active in the life of the local church: I was frequently leading the sung worship, running youth groups, preaching, and alongside this I spent several years studying theology at university.
But in the background, something was stirring.
My initial passion was slowly being replaced by questions, and no matter how much I tried to suppress the doubt I experienced, it was like holding a beach ball underwater; it kept forcing its way to the surface. Eventually this proved too much, and I knew I had to face it head on. Some will testify that doing this led them to a more robust understanding of their faith, for me it meant leaving it behind, and in early 2020 I admitted to myself that I was no longer a Christian.
It didn't end there, however. Completely restructuring the worldview in which I grew up for twenty-five years doesn't have a neat completion date. I'd ran out of the burning building, but most of my stuff was still inside. I found myself having to process everything I had experienced and how I now related to my former faith
Lucky for you, I wrote a lot of it down, and that's basically what you can find here.
My posts so far are generally a reflection of this journey; some of it is autobiographical, some of it is theological. I've also featured various conversations with people who have had fascinating journeys and experiences of their own. Frankly, putting this all together has been incredibly therapeutic for me, and so if no one else reads it, I'm fine with that. Okay, that's not entirely true, otherwise I wouldn't have hit 'publish'.
My aim in this is never to tear down anyone's faith. Many people's religious beliefs provide a much needed comfort and stability in their lives, and can inspire incredible acts of selfless love. My concern is for those who, like myself, found themselves in a place where they could no longer sustain the beliefs they once held, but were unaware that leaving them behind was a viable option.
Hopefully that's provided a framework and some context, and what I've written in the blog should start to fill in the gaps. As you read this, I have no idea what it is you believe, but I don't think that's too important. I'd love for you to journey with me regardless, drop your thoughts into the comments, and perhaps we can both learn something along the way.