I’m incredibly grateful for those that have been engaging with me as I’ve shared my journey out of evangelicalism. I was nervous about sharing this as I know there would be those out there that would be hurt, offended, or even feel threatened by someone offering a critique on their way of seeing the world. Fortunately that sort of blowback has been minimal and I’m so appreciative of the mature dialogue that has existed around this series. So thank you!
Over the years I’ve received countless emails, texts, and private messages inquiring about my faith journey. This isn’t because I have some great insight, but because the position I held as a worship leader and pastor was so visible, the transition has been as well. Sometimes these inquiries are from well meaning people who are “concerned.” Others come from a place of curiosity because they too feel that something is out of place and are looking for some language to help them process these feelings. I have even had some people come full circle. I have a friend who literally said “When you first started talking about these things I thought you were crazy. A few years later it all makes sense.” Even as this blog has progressed, a common question I get is “where have you landed?” or “what do you consider yourself now?” For the last piece in this series (but definitely not on the topic of faith) I wanted to share my answer to that question (spoiler alert – you might be disappointed) and the spaces that have helped me work through my questions and become my community outside of the institutional settings of the church.
The truth is, I don’t have an answer to the “where are you now” question. I don’t feel like I’ve landed my theological plane and, in reality, I don’t feel any need to. The freedom to not need to hold a certain label didn’t happen overnight, and I spent quite a few years trying on all sorts of labels to see how they fit. I see myself in a lot of different types of faith (and non-faith) expressions. Christian, atheist, mystic, evangelical, humanist, etc. I relate to aspects of them all and what really excites me these days is the exploration of ways in which these seemingly opposing viewpoints actually share much in common. I’m driven by my belief that love, in all of its complexity, is the driving force of our human experience. The pursuit of love across tribal lines drives my curiosities towards those who’ve had experiences outside of my own. It was my encounters with people and my love for them that cracked my religious shell and I’ve run that direction ever since.
This path has not been one I’ve been on alone, although this journey can often feel incredibly isolated. I wanted to share a few spaces that have truly been life-giving as I’ve moved towards new ways of thinking and being. My hope is that if someone is out there and feeling this pull, but scared to begin asking the questions, that these places might offer the same type of refuge they did to me.