Monday, February 27, 2012

Did I Slip Off the Slope?

I haven't posted in quite awhile, but considering my readership is very small, I don't think anyone noticed or minded.  :-)

When I started this blog, it was a way for me to process all of my thoughts and questions about the Christian faith. I called it "Slope Sitter," in reference to the adage that once you start abc, it's a slippery slope leading to xyz. I set out to prove (to myself, mostly) that it was possible to ask the questions, search for the answers, and perch somewhere in the happy middle on the side of the slope.

Interestingly enough, popular Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans recently posted about this very thing:
Yes, the slippery slope brought doubts. Yes, the slippery slope brought change. Yes, the slippery slope brought danger and risk and unknowns. I am indeed more exposed to the elements out here, and at times it is hard to find my footing. 
But when I decided I wanted to follow Jesus as myself, with both my head and heart intact, the slippery slope was the only place I could find him, the only place I could engage my faith honestly. 
So down I went.
Ms. Evans took on the slippery slope and found herself a ledge to cling to, making her feel more alive in her faith than ever before.

I was at that point for awhile. I loved asking the questions. I loved letting go of all the silly, memorized, trite answers I had grown up parroting and replacing them with reasoned, thoughtful responses.

But I kept asking.

It began to feel more like the analogy blogger Aaron Hildebrandt uses to describe what happened to him once he started asking questions:

The result of this can be tricky. Religion is like a life-long game of Jenga. You start with a nice little tower, built with the help of your friends and family, and you’re told that it’s totally fine to poke and prod it a bit, but only because it will result in discovering ways to make the tower even stronger. However, it’s vitally important that you not actually alter the tower too much, lest you fall into the sin of redesigning it to suit your own needs. So, you sit there with this tower. Eventually, you start to notice that a couple blocks are out of place — sometimes God is okay with divorce, it’s a little nonsense to take a stand against evolution, and homosexuality isn’t the result of the devil’s lure. You pull out a few blocks and reposition them. Everything’s still okay. But you keep finding blocks that need to move, more and more. You start to realize that things you were taught were wrong, assumptions were incorrect. You keep changing and tweaking, but every time you do the tower becomes less steady. Over time, it starts to lose its structure, until you see that if you make any more changes the tower will fall completely. And then you sit back, look at the tower, and suddenly understand that there never was any tower, just a number of meaningless blocks cleverly arranged. And yet, this was something you’ve been working on your entire life. Simply pushing the tower over, letting it spill to the ground and walking away is… a difficult action.
So where am I at now?  I don't know.  Will I keep blogging about it?  I don't know. There are so many other wonderful blogs out there that do a much better job of describing the process I am (and apparently so many other people are) going through. But it is therapeutic to write it out, so maybe I will keep it up...