Post-Christian Agnostics: Understanding the Spirituality of Most Americans


These days I spend an increasing amount of time listening to the thoughts and feelings of people outside of the Church. I do this for two reasons. First, it’s refreshing for me, a pastor, to get outside of the church world long enough to listen to and attempt to understand different spiritual perspectives. As I learn about other people’s souls, inevitably those conversations become a mirror for me to better understand myself and my own soul, too. But the second reason I have conversations with non-Church people is to better understand the Church’s mission field. My church and I can’t form new connections and new community with people we don’t respect and understand. So often, Church and Church leaders do all the talking, trying to get a  message out there without noticing if people are at all getting what we’re saying or if they even care!

I have a confession to make before I go on. It’s taken me a while to get to this place of truly listening to people of other faith persuasions.

A little bit of autobiography: I was not raised in the Church. Up until my conversion to Jesus Christ when I was 18-years-old, I would describe myself as a pre-Christian Theist. In other words, I believed in God but had no beliefs regarding Jesus. As a matter of fact, it took me a while once I got involved with my church to really wrap my head around the whole Jesus thing. I mean, the only ways I had ever heard the name of Jesus invoked was in swearing or by some wide-eyed TV evangelist carrying on at the top of his lungs about “Jeeeeyzus.” But once I came to enough understanding and appreciation for Jesus to call him my Lord and Savior, I attempted with every effort to try to conform myself to church culture and thinking. And that led me down the road of being so church and Christianity-centered that I began to forget and even despise my unchurched, pre-Christian heritage. I closed myself to anything but Christianity and became pretty obnoxious about it, too.

Well, after many years of trying to unsuccessfully conform myself to church culture and to the religiousity of Christianity, I then began to accept myself for who I am. I am and always will be a disciple of Christ and a part of his Church. But I will never fit nor conform to the norms and expectations of church culture as it’s come to be. I understand its religious rules, norms, traditions, and attitudes, but they’re not really mine. I live and operate within a church system that has become a religious club, living for itself and its own survival, all but abandoning its call to infuse itself into the world around it to love it and to teach and model the good news of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ. I live rather uncomfortably within this culture in order to reform it. But it’s not me, and increasingly becomes less and less of who I am.

And that’s why I’ve come full circle, embracing my pre-Christian roots and how they’ve shaped me to be who I am. Those roots have given me enough love and humility to get outside of myself to really embrace other people for who they are. In that discovery, I think I’ve stumbled upon a fairly accurate description of the spiritual state of most people.

Spiritually, I would describe most people as post-Christian Agnostic.

What does what mean?? It’s really not as heady a term as you might think. It’s not meant to be cute and clever. It’s certainly not meant to spur contempt for other people… at all! But this terminology just might help us begin to appreciate the spiritual world of most people and then shape how we share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.

Post-Christian Agnostics share four common traits, each to varying degrees and shapes.

Post-Christian Agnostics have had some previous experience with Church and Christianity and have walked away from it. From having spent significant time in the Church, being raised in it, or having considerable exposure to cultural Christianity, post-Christian Agnostics are already familiar with Christianity and Church. Yet they have found the religion of Christianity and the Church to be irrelevant, deeply disappointing, or damaging. Post-Christian Agnostics will often say, “I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious.” That’s their way of saying that they hold spiritual beliefs without obligating them to any one religious system, especially Christianity.

Post-Christian Agnostics are agnostic (undefined) about who God is. They are not atheists. In a general sense they believe in a higher power or a greater spiritual being. Or, they believe in a quasi-Christian form of personal deity called God. But because their beliefs are not tied into any religious system, they generally hold no defined sense of God’s characteristics beyond what the person has come to individually experience and accept.

Post-Christian Agnostics hold a scrapbook of experimentally obtained spiritual beliefs. This is the one aspect of postChristian Agnostics that can be the trickiest for Christians to grasp. Most people do not conscientiously systematize their spiritual beliefs. They pick up beliefs like trinkets or snapshots to put into a scrapbook. They’re picked up through life experiences. Most people believe something because its intriguing, feels right, or because it makes sense to them.  So, it wouldn’t be at all uncommon or surprising to find a post-Christian Agnostic who reads her horoscope, finds a neat Hindu mantra to chant during yoga, believes in a guardian angel, wonders what she was in a previous life (reincarnation), has a St. Joseph pendant, gets her palm read, and really thought that Joel Osteen clip on the radio was inspirational!

Post-Christian Agnostics are highly skeptical of any kind of organized religion, most especially the Church. I wish more church-going Christians understood this reality more clearly when thinking about planning ministry for new people. Perception is almost everything. Post-Christian Agnostics perceive the Church to be overly institutional, hypocritical, cliques, out of touch, judgmental, cold, and a whole host of other horrors. Church people don’t think these things about themselves because… well… they like themselves! That makes it hard for church people to grasp many peoples’ reservations about church and why church isn’t even on most peoples’ radar screens on a Sunday morning or on any other day of the week.

Another growing phenomenon related to my last point that really deserves its own blog post is something I call post-church Christians. These are folks who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord, hold a biblical world view, engage in the practices of prayer and Bible reading, and have a clear Christian theology. But, they have abandoned church for the same reasons post-Christian Agnostics have.  Often, they have been a part of many churches and for some reason found them either lacking or painful. In my work with post-Church Christians, I often encourage them to explore alternative, non-traditional ways to be the Church, perhaps by forming small groups or creating a new faith community.

Obviously, I’ve painted some very wide brush strokes in defining post-Christian Agnostics. The spiritual landscape of America is an ever-evolving phenomena which to me can be best represented by throwing random cans of paint against a wall. There’s almost to rhyme or reason to adequately categorizing the spiritual views of Americans. The closest approximation I can come up with has been the description I’ve offered here. Again, I’ll say that post-Christian Agnostics fit in varying degrees to the descriptions I’ve offered above. It truly takes time and love to substantially grasp another person’s spiritual place, and so no one should be arbitrarily characterized.

But, if the church as we know it today has any chance of engaging and including new people, than we must make every effort to understand our mission field. We’re not trying to create new religious people, and believe me, the last thing a post-Christian Agnostic wants is to be converted into a religious person. But, after reaching an understanding our mission field, we can offer people vital relationships– relationships with us and a relationship with the Jesus who died and was raised to life again for every person in our world and for them. It’s all about connecting people, not converting them. The Holy Spirit changes people; we don’t. All we do is offer our lives to other people in love and service and hope, even in spite of ourselves, that they encounter the living Christ within.

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51 Comments

Filed under Christian thought, church leadership, Reflections

51 responses to “Post-Christian Agnostics: Understanding the Spirituality of Most Americans

  1. I would add another category, one that disturbs me: post-evolutionary Christians. These are people who believe in ‘intelligent design’ and other openly anti-scientific theories, even though many of them are well educated and know that the theories are full of holes. Perhaps ‘post-scientific’ or ‘post-rationalist’ Christians would be a better term since their beliefs often encompass a range of areas. This is a fascinating and genuine post.
    TOG

    • Thanks for your ideas, theothergardener! I think there’s always been an anti-intellectual presence within Christianity and in other faiths as well. In the rise of modern science and evolutionary theory, Christians went in one of two ways: either embracing science or ardently rejecting it. I certainly think we can do a much better job of engaging science by embracing what we can while questioning the some of its philosophical conclusions.

      • I am disturbed, too, by what I would call the New Rationalism. This is the sort of rote repetition of fact without context, moral context in particular, which gave rationalism its edge and was, I believe, its primary claim to supremacy in philosophy. And it is here that the argument between believer and atheist can be very misleading. For it is perhaps even truer of today’s theology that it participates in the New Rationalism than the secular humanist side which tends to vacillate on the matter, sometimes choosing instead to take refuge in a moral historiography.

        The great theologians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were rationalists. This developed–and I think this is what you’re referring to–in one of two directions. Either it participated in an increasingly intense series of intellectual and spiritual confrontations with Godhead, as represented by different experiences of ‘living in the spirit,’ from Otto’s overwhelming and deceptively simple concept of the mysterium tremendum–the lightning bolt from the sublime–to the excruciatingly subtle reflections of Tillich and the other Christian existentialists. Or it became a close reading and rereading of the Bible, with attention to the experience of the holy, but largely off to the side and with less philosophical framework (the Bible being thought to be the only one needed for salvation, as evidenced by the experience).

        But notice how both these strains participate in the same phenomena through their methodology: circularity, repetition, close reading, the criticism of criticism and so on. These are the elements of modernism most often noted by critics of the secular canon over the same period, both in philosophy and the arts. I say this not to make the obvious point of the earthliness of theology–an old saw of an argument often thrown by atheists at their opponents–but rather because I think that it points to the ways in which contemporary theology of both major branches, philosophical-introspective and fundamentalist-political, share a relationship to the New Rationalism.

        Here the moral context being neglected might be thought of as the Word, the essence of the Bible’s teachings and the instantiation of the Truth, of God. But I would say, in a more earthly sense, that it is also the everyday moral context that gets lost, and that this happens in precisely the same way that it does for the secularist, through an inexact confrontation with the problems of modernity: alienation, the life of the individual, consumerist vacuity, rootlessness. The more I orbit around these ideas in my own search, through repetition and variation, the more it seems that we are always returning to the same dead trees. And yet we expect growth. Fascinating, in a dark way.

    • your statement here really interests me;
      ” I live and operate within a church system that has become a religious club, living for itself and its own survival, …I live rather uncomfortably within this culture in order to reform it.”

      after you realised the environment in which you live, why did you make the decision to stay and change it?
      Im just interested?

      I’m a nineteen year old ex-employee of a cathedral and youthleader, who has had it UP TO HERE with christianity and have come across the same connunrum – to stay and renounce the messy fake-ness of church, or to quietly retreat and protect what is left of my relationship with God, and daringly try and find my own way/answers in this world, and try and let others do the same?

      • Wow, Kathy… Bless your heart! “To stay and renounce the messy fake-ness of the church, or to quietly retreat and protect what is left of my relationship with God…” That is so beautifully put. Kathy, all of this depends on the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you and the unique role in the kingdom of God that God is calling you to. It’s different for all for all of us. For now, my role is a reformer/leader pastor in the United Methodist Church. That may change sometime down the road, depending on how God leads.

        But I will tell you that your first priority is to keep your relationship with Jesus strong. He’s counting on you just as much as you count on him. From there, he’ll lead you to where he wants you. I’d be more than happy to listen more and do what I can for you. I have a feeling, just based on what you’ve shared, that God will do so much through you for the benefit of his Church.

        You also may be interested in my latest post on the difference between Jesus and Christianity. Hopefully that will help, too!

        Chris

  2. Because I’m a nitpicker, I’ll say that I like the term but don’t think it necessarily applies. Can someone really be any kind of agnostic if they profess a belief in some sort of deity?

    I suppose they could be agnostic towards Christianity, which may be what you were shooting for.

  3. MorsecOde, I think you’re more properly describing an atheist, someone who holds no belief in deity. Agnostics believe in a deity or the possibility for the existence of deity but do not fully define what it is. They certainly do not hold beliefs that fit into any kind of systematized religion. Or another way of describing agnostics are people who are open but not settled in belief.

  4. Kim

    This is really well put, and can truly help many of us who close ourselves into little walled sanctuaries realize why our churches are shrinking.

    Thank you, Amen! (I found your blog as one of the fastest growing WP blogs listed, just in case you wondered) Very nice.

    • Wow… thank you, Kim. Yes, I’ve put a lot of thought into all of this through hours of conversations with non-Christian friends, neighbors, and family. BTW, how did you find the stats about my blog? Just curious… I’m not sure what to think of that kind of notoriety!! :-)

  5. Hi again, Pastor Chris. We have a WP blog ourselves, and on the dashboard page on the bottom there is a listing of most popular posts then fastest growing blogs. I’m always excited to listen to progressive Christian thinkers, with fresh views.
    Our blog is liftedoneagleswings.wordpress.com

    It’s a political blog from both the “left wing and the right wing” where we use our common Christian faith to discuss divisive issues in a peaceful way. It helps us listen to, rather than dismiss, opposing views from the world of politics.

    • Oh cool! That sounds like a wonderful blog! That’s definitely an interest of mine: peacefully, respectfully bringing people together divergent views on hot button topics. There’s definitely so much work to do there, and I’m glad to have you out there doing it. Talk to you soon, and I will give your blog a good read, too.

  6. Xander

    The agnostic community is growing rather rapidly. Between spiritually dead churches and hypocritical religious followers, they are being turned off in droves. The positive side is that they have not been fully turned off the ideal of spirituality and decided to be an atheist.

    The western church is locked in its religious ideas and rituals instead of focusing on God. The Pharisees are once again on the rise. There is always hope though.

    Good article.

  7. Hello Xander– very, very well put. Thank you! I’ve found that most agnostics warm to the idea and person of Jesus, but as soon as you attach his name to anything Christian (as in the religion), then suddenly they grow cold again. The Church has done itself a bad disservice by being so institutional, closed, and hypocritical. As a pastor, I definitely do have my work cut out for me!

    • Sounds like you’re describing Catholicism (that’s where I was placed as a child without my consent or agreement.) But I realize that Catholicism is not the only highly institutionalized or hypocritical Church.

      As an atheist, I would find much more common ground if Christianity wasn’t so splintered into so many groups, each with its own views. This, to me, is one of the most difficult challenges for Christian Churches. How can you have an honest dialog with people who are walking away from their Churches when there is a different version of Christianity on every street corner?

      I doubt that it will ever be the same as when it started, but it shouldn’t continue to get further apart!

      Nice post Chris!

    • As a pastor, how do you lead your congregation to break with the religious mindset and live for Christ? How do you get them moving so that their actions agree with Christ and the people can see Him in action?

      It sounds strange, but I am ready for Christian persecution to come back. It is time for people in the west to see Christians ready to die for their faith, in actions and not just words. The Church doesn’t have this problem in China, India, or Africa. The Church is alive and well there. Healings are occurring and the power of God is on display for all to see. Here, we are like Israel when Jesus came. We try and act right and have people live a morally acceptable life, but we are dead inside.

      I am curious to see how different church leaders are addressing the problem.

      • “It sounds strange, but I am ready for Christian persecution to come back. It is time for people in the west to see Christians ready to die for their faith, in actions and not just words.”

        Would you care to give some examples of Christian persecution? This does not sound like a good idea to me at all. I’ll remain interested until you explain what you mean, or give examples.

        One thing that I have read is that there may be a decline or an apathy within some churches, but others are actually growing (Christian denominations), according to some polls. This may indicate that people are changing their attitudes towards certain styles or forms of organized religion. I have heard more than one friend mention that they are against “organized religion.”

        But we have also witnessed a growth in evangelical groups where the church seems to be providing more modern amenities, and less formal, ritualistic services.

      • Hi Jetson- I would argue that much of the growth we’re seeing in evangelical mega-churches is transfer growth from mainline churches or from people who were previously churched but have found something that they like better. Keep in mind I’m not discounting the ministry of most of these churches. I think they’re doing great things. But even with their presence, the truth remains that 2/3 of the general population do not belong to a church and do not identify themselves as church-going Christians. So, all that to say that Christian churches have their work cut out for them!

      • Hi Xander- I can only say that it is a long, slow, very painful process. The fact is, most mainline churches still operate as if we were in our post-WWII heyday of the 1940’s and 50’s. They’re still structured to operate and carry out their ministries that way. We’ve lost our missional/apostolic identity, and that’s what I’ve been working to recover.

        In terms of Christian persecution, there’s plenty to go around within the Church itself when either lay people or pastors push churches to quit being clubs and start being missional!

        So, it calls for consistent teaching, preaching, casting visions, and working with church leadership to understand why we’re a church and what we’re here for.

        Chris

  8. Hi Jetson- Oh no, indeed… Catholicism is certainly not the only institutionalized hypocritical version of the Church. We Protestants have plenty of that to go around too, unfortunately.

    As I shared on my blog, I wasn’t raised in the church, and so one question I’ve always had which I still ask is, “Why all the denominations? Don’t we understand how confusing and messy that makes us??” There are definitely core things that most all Christians believe and do, and the differences among us are not as vast and deep as we Christians think them to be.

    I really do wish I knew what to tell you, Jetson. The only thing I know to say is that the real-deal genuine follower of Jesus is very recognizable, and while they’re few in ratio to their everyday “religious” church neighbors, they exist in every denomination and in every local church.

    I only hope to be counted with them…

    Thanks for your comment and encouragement, jetson!

    Chris

  9. I found your blog in the WP dashboard also, and I found that the four traits mentioned in this entry fit me perfectly.

    While I’m not a ‘religious’ man, I try to keep an open mind to others’ views, and I’ll be reading yours with some regularity.

    Keep up the good work (and you were spot on about Pat Robertson – he, and many others who have the public’s ear, should do a little more editing between the brain and the lips).

    • Thank you, tangentman! It’s good to know when you’ve got it right, and it’s my firm belief that you’re not alone by a long shot. I look forward to your future thoughts, too!

      • Oh, I’m definitely not alone. And while a devout religious lifestyle isn’t for everyone, I have a few thoughts on why our society is in a downward swing.

        I don’t know if you’ve visited my blog, but I have posted a couple of entries in what I call “The Society Page”. If you are so inclined, you might want to read the one titled “‘Family’ Travel?” ( http://wp.me/pE9pX-k ). It covers just one aspect of the ‘Communication Gap’ in today’s version of the family unit.

        Be well, Chris.

      • Thanks! I will look into that…

        Chris

      • @tangentman – I read your blog. Families who travel, like mine, use every opportunity to talk, teach, learn, and listen, regardless of the DVD player in the back seat. The DVD player is a welcome addition to the blank space between San Antonio and El Paso, for example. Sometimes, the best thing for a family is to let the kids get lost in great entertainment, while mom and dad talk about other things.

        I don’t agree that society is in a downward swing. I would need more evidence that things are getting worse. For everything that some people label as getting worse, there is something else that makes it better – just ask the kids!

        I am 47, so I do see differences in how I was brought up versus how I am doing the bringing up with my own child. But that’s not enough to label any particular thing as a “downward swing”.

      • @jetson – I hope your family is more the norm than the exception regarding my observation in that blog. I’d really like to believe I’m wrong.

        Maybe I’m getting cynical as I grow older (I’m 45 myself), but have you seen the commercial on TV reminding people to have a family meal once a week to talk? If that is really necessary – we sat down to dinner nightly when I was growing up – have things not taken a turn? Sure, times change and people of all ages are busier with their lives these days, but it that for the better?

        I don’t want to take over Pastor Chris’ neighborhood with this. I thank you for reading, and if you”d like to continue the discussion, we can do so in my neck of the woods. :)

  10. thebigpicmin

    Chris,

    Two sections really struck me from this discussion. The first was in the article:

    I live and operate within a church system that has become a religious club, living for itself and its own survival, all but abandoning its call to infuse itself into the world around it to love it and to teach and model the good news of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ. I live rather uncomfortably within this culture in order to reform it. But it’s not me, and increasingly becomes less and less of who I am.

    and again in your response to “Jetson”

    Catholicism is certainly not the only institutionalized hypocritical version of the Church. We Protestants have plenty of that to go around too, unfortunately.

    Your comments are oh soo true. I have to ask, how can we let it continue? How can we continue to feed this broken system?

    I’m praying that you can hear God’s call in these words:

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/standing-in-the-gap-for-jesus/

    http://thebigpicmin.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/our-assignment-to-ignore-todays-blind-leaders/

  11. joy

    My husband and I have been having long, whispered talks about the demise of our faith recently. Though we still hold on to much, we’ve equally let go more. My husband actually mentioned to me the term his professor shared in his class recently of Post-Christian Agnostics and smiled as he said to me, “I think we must be Post-Christian Christians.”

    Thank you for this. I’ve been looking for a blog like this for some time.

    • Hello Joy, thank you for your comments and encouragement. You and your husband are not alone by a long shot. I think if the modern church had been more authentic and truly God-filled, there would be far fewer people who walk away from it and from their faith.

      I can only hope that in some way God would lead you to a sincere, authentic faith community that could help you reconnect to Jesus. Those communities may be few and far in between, but they’re out there.

      In the mean time, God bless and keep you and your husband. I hope we can share in some more conversations in the future.

      BTW, my next post on the difference between Jesus and Christianity might be of interest to you both, too.

      Chris

  12. Joy

    It is in my heart to one day find an authentic faith community, though, maybe for now it’s online. I’m raw and spiritually worn out from church with a little “c.”

    I’m slowly beginning to understand Christ is far more comfortable with disbelief than the Church. However, even I’m startled at the bleak state of my own faith. I have been even questioning basics like heaven and hell. If you had only seen the super Christian me from a few years ago you would be deeply shocked by this. And to be honest, I’m shocked too. I would greatly appreciate any wisdom and will be sure to keep an eye on your further posts. Thank you, again. I think your posts might be a rope tossed out to me at sea.

  13. Hello and thank you for your post, I think it’s very interesting and maybe I fit in there somewhere. Please visit my post “Too Cold Too Cold”. I’d be interested to know what you think of it. Much love. Nickie

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  15. I thought this post had some excellent observations. I definitely fall into the post-Christian agnostic group. I was raised Southern Baptist – pulled, literally, kicking and screaming to church every Sunday and eventually came to hate the whole idea of the Church.

    Unfortunately, when I stopped going to church, my family and a lot of people I considered to be my friends passed judgment on me and continue to do so. I can’t fathom how someone would think that exclusion and judgment would make me want to take part in their beliefs.

    I do see this attitude changing somewhat in some younger Christians, but I also see them being ostracized as they are seen to be watering down the faith.

    These attitudes will never bring someone like me “back into the fold.” It amounts to yelling at someone who’s been emotionally abused. I’m very appreciative to see a church leader speaking up on the issue. Thank you.

    • Hello Chris- I wish I could say that you’re the only who has ever shared a story like that with me, but tragically, you’re not alone, not by a long shot. My journey is the exact opposite from yours. I wasn’t raised in the church and came into it right about the time in life you were itching to get out. Having said that, I pray for and work to create genuine Church communities who can be inclusive of people who are struggling in faith and belief and who aren’t afraid to handle tough questions and even tough criticisms. I hope you can find a community like that, Chris. In the mean time, I always welcome your thoughts and comments. God bless and keep you, Chris!

      Chris

    • Cam Poole

      Chris,
      You are exactly right on the part of how if you are literaly dragged into something, you end it to reject. That is one fact of life

  16. George

    Wow,…

    That was the single most thoughful and inspiring thing I’ve seen/heard in a LONG time.

    If more religious leaders had your willingness to accept/acknowledge other points of view, I think more of us would be open to learning about Christianity as one of the many possibilities that exist for us. (not to mention the whole world just being a better place all round)

    It’s hard for people of any religion to relate to agnostics because there are a million “degrees” of agnostics. We range from the reverantly spiritual to the nearly athiestic and there’s not even a basic set of guidelines.

    One of my biggest problems with any church was always the fact that I was talked down to, as if it was an inside joke that something was wrong with me for having MY beliefs and that they would do what they could to fix me.
    Like adults talking to a child, all the while not realizing that from my point of view the exact opposite could be a possiblity.

    I think the other big problem for agnostics that people can’t get it the issue of proof/probability. If you’re raised Christian, Muslim, Catholic, etc.. your church, family, friends enforce the idea that you are *RIGHT* that other possibilities are just silly. Agnostics walk into the picture and say Gaya, is JUST as likely as Jesus as Allah as Buddha as Xenu is to be right. (Ok I may be pushing it with Xenu) but still the possibilites are many and there is nothing that MAKES any of them more or less “right”.
    But that in its self is a long discussion for another day perhaps.

    I love to talk about the different belief systems. I find inspiration and wisdom in every one I encounter, but the willingness to accept “others” is the thing that draws me in and makes me want to learn more. Yes I’d love to know more about your religion, please don’t get offended when I ask questions and then question those answers to try to make sense out of them for *ME* “But you’re questioning my faith!” No, I’m questioning my faith, in your system of beliefs, that’s completley different.

    But again,..wow

    I honestly wish you well and hope that you have great success in your mission. You haven’t made a believer out of me but you’ve given me a bit of faith and hope.

    • Hello George- Thank you, thank you, thank you! I like what you said that there are varying degrees of agnosticism. Even for someone like me who has settled on Jesus Christ, if I’m honest, I have to admit to a degree of agnosticism in that there are things I simply don’t know or conclusions I cannot reach. (Agnostic means, quite literally, “not know”.) And you’re right that one of of the things that turns people off from Christianity is the know-it-all attitude of many Christians who aren’t comfortable in the presence of people who are genuinely seeking but haven’t found yet. I also share with you a love for learning other belief systems. Not only is it fascinating learning, but it helps me to understand better who I am and why I believe what I believe.

      George I hope we get a chance to have further conversations together. I always welcome your comments and questions. I may not always have an answer or an answer you’d find comfortable, but we can certainly wrestle it out together and in it find a blessing. Thank you for your openness and your sincerity, George. God bless and keep you always…

      Chris

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  18. dreadpiratescetis

    This be a good post. Good to know more about ye.

  19. Me

    One of the things that troubles me about many churches of today is that they are lecture format. As teachers, we are never told to lecture, as students sit there unable to answer questions. We are told that is the very last way that people learn. As I read the bible and attend church, if the pastor says something, I get questions and I ask those through email sometimes and he just ignores the ones he doesn’t like. It must be nice to have a congregation of 70 people, lecture once a week, go to the office when you please, make $48 K (and throw in hints about giving $, as a means to heaven and avoiding Hell) and not answer questions you don’t feel like answering. I have given more to that church than any other. I am tired of giving money when the pastor just doesn’t bother to answer questions he doesn’t like. As a teacher, I would just like to see what would happen if I didn’t answer a parent’s question because I didn’t like it. On top of that, you don’t get heckled five days a week, five classes a day, the way a teacher does. Being a pastor sounds like a good gig. I am about to become a post-church Christian. I think I will listen to Alistair Begg on radio and forget going to any church. I am fed up with it.

  20. Cam Poole

    Wow, just wow. I am an agnostic, post christian agnostic, and that by far is the most detailed description that is dead on accurate, you sir are amazing. I couldn’t be more astounded at a understanding of religion. You state it is what a person is comfortable with, and that is the point. You believe what you want, not just stick with everything of one. Just amazing at what you have come to.

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  28. This is the same motivation that gets you through the tough day even though you felt that you cannot finish it in the start. Most people make the commitment to lose weight twice a year, once around the New Year, and again as summer approaches. ” advocated enhancing individual jobs and responsibilities to make them more inspiring and rewarding for the workforce.

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