I once wanted to become a preacher.
I believed so fervently in the Bible that the thought couldn’t escape me that the more I learned about it, the more I should share what I learn with others. It felt only natural. (Or supernatural, as it were.)
My church gave me a few opportunities to preach, and I cannot lie, it was fun. I knew what to say to get shouts of “amen!” and “preach!” from the pews, and when up there, my usual fear of public speaking seemed to fade completely.
Those opportunities came when I was a fairly cookie-cutter Baptist fundamentalist. I stuck to the doctrine and expressions and talking points that were oh so very familiar to the listeners.
I preached, but I didn’t challenge.
I didn’t challenge because I wasn’t challenged.
Baptist fundamentalists, not unlike so very many other sects of Christianity, have a groove into which most of their adherents can fit into without causing much friction.
Far too closely to the end of my life as a Christian, though, I learned that Christianity cannot exist in a frictionless environment, that Christianity must shatter the grooves so many people fit snugly into, upending not just worldviews but whole lives, redefining the fates of its adherents in such a way that, frankly, I had never seen before.
I never had the opportunity to preach this radical new (ancient) form of Christianity. My faith was swallowed up by knowledge, and so I cast off the vestiges of Christianity.
Part of me regrets that decision. Continue reading