No one has challenged me to fisticuffs, pistols, or dueling Bibles. However, they really don’t know what to say when I tell them I'm an atheist.
“David, what happened to you? Did we do something to cause you to fall away?”
I was hoping I could have my own thoughts, express my views, and even debate them strenuously, yet stay friends. Is that possible? I still love these people and would never reject them. In fact, I’m still here for them.
I say that even with the best intentions, there’s a great deal of manipulation happening in church camps. Tell me I'm wrong... that these elements are not in church camps....
I later apologized for my anger but every week when I had to see that guy in church, I had to resist the urge to grab him by the lapels, pin him to the wall, and express my feelings.
I’m told that all matter comes from stardust. For a moment in time, tiny space particles came together to make something extraordinary--a human being.
"Earlier this week, after a leave of absence, I wrote to the Bishop and my District Superintendent and relinquished my hard won credentials."
"It felt like I was looking in a mirror at an image of me that was five years older than I am now. And I got to wondering if he actually was me, sent from the near future...."
Church can’t be a place for openness and healing when its basic premise is that people are awful sinners who caused the death of God’s child.
When I was a pastor I never practiced that “faith healing” crap. Yet even with my muted style, I could see people looking at me, waiting for a holy message to make them feel less desperate. It disturbed me to be given so much power.