Betrayal causes a trauma response in humans. Institutions, not just people, can be the source of betrayal. A normal human response to betrayal trauma is to disengage completely from the institution. That’s where I am in relation to several institutions I previously trusted and depended on for my identity.
As my religious understanding changes, I’m discovering that so does my language about religion. But to “be all things to all men, so that I may save some,” I have to become multilingual – fluently speaking the native language of whatever tribe I am with.
Did God stop speaking at the end of the first century AD? Did He tell us literally everything we need to know in the Bible? I’ve been thinking about the various basic approaches to reading and understanding the Bible. It seems to me that there are at least two related methods of Bible interpretation, and their interaction results in some rather different outcomes depending on your assumptions.
Faith perhaps, should be something like a basket of Easter eggs: each one colorful and unique and ornate in its own way, each containing something different and surprising, but all together comprising the totality of Christianity, in the promise offered by Easter Sunday.
There are many things I once feared would happen if I questioned what I believed. And all those fears came to pass. But from the other side of it, I’m so glad it happened, because I found out how wrong I had been.
Jesus said we’d know a tree by its fruit, and perhaps we can also know a doctrine the same way. I grew up with an end-times doctrine that is widespread in the church, but which I now recognize is bearing a lot of bad fruit. Maybe it’s time to recognize the harm.