Thursday, April 10, 2008


I am not really a big fan of science. I am not saying that I am a creationist by that statement, any more than I would be an evolutionist if I state that the world changes. I am just not a big fan of formulae and nice tidy explanations. That is part of my constant struggle with third millennium Christianity, or rather the forms of Christianity within which I grew up and had my formative religious experiences – namely evangelicalism, in particular the charismatic wing of that very broad movement.

I often sit and wonder what Jesus would make of the modern church. I am sure there are many things that would please him immensely. According to statistics more people have become Christian in the last century or so than in the preceding 20 combined. The church has been at the forefront of movements seeking justice for the oppressed, thinking especially here of Archbishop Tutu in South Africa. In many local communities, the church in its various guises provides a wealth of social care programs, education, medicine and countless other services which bind communities together.

And yet I find it difficult to go to church. Indeed, I haven’t darkened the door of a church for quite some time. Why is that? Simply put, I just don’t feel as though I belong. I am not much of a social creature by nature, I much prefer to be with a few select friends with whom I can be brutally honest. At most churches I have been too, I find that it takes too long to find such souls with whom to have the deep communion that I crave. I find people disturbed by my inability to state beyond question that I believe in God, the same can be said of my atheist mates who do not understand why I cannot refute entirely my faith.

I have found that many religious and atheist people are essentially the same; they want certainty and tidy explanations. I find certainty a rare commodity in the modern world, and as such I am disinclined to search for it – although at the same time I envy those so sure in their world view that they are untroubled by questions and doubts. Life is messy, and while in some ways it is understandable to want to tidy life up into various compartments, to do so is to miss the richness of being human.

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