Most people I know who aren’t churchgoing folks have a very resolute attitude toward Christianity and church itself.
The adjective hypocritical is used the most often.
This is not to say they don’t believe in Jesus as taught to them as children; loving and being loved by Jesus was always the easy part. In fact, during the Canadian government’s Royal Commission on First Nations throughout Canada in 1995, one native reminisced on how good it might have been if European colonizers had just brought Jesus to them and left the church behind!
Nowadays, the “Father God” I was taught about is seen by many as one’s higher power and definitely not as being of male gender, a descriptive term that most now see as having contributed toward discrimination against women in the past and in many societies still does today.
Questions like, is Jesus God? How could Jesus be the son of a virgin? Metaphors and miracles became unexplained beliefs such as doctrinal statements that claim “Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins”… And what is this thing called “Holy Spirit” (Holy Ghost) all about?
I was one who grew up in what is now referred to as a mainstream Protestant church during the 1940s and 1950s.
Like many, I left the church during my late teens, not because I began to question its theology (not then) but because it just didn’t interest me anymore. However, while I may have left the building behind, I carried God with me, and at age 23, as I began to raise a family, the desire to understand why this separation from the church building did not affect my belief in God.
Further to this, I had to find out who was this man named Jesus and what did He and God have in common.
Upon reflection, there is one sure thing I would have said to that young woman: “If you choose, faith can be a journey of discovery that will carry you through all things, good and bad for the rest of your life.”
As time goes on, I will continue to share with you more about my faith journey and how becoming a member of Chemainus United Church continues to shape my life.
At this time, I can only say that my home church has come a long way in answering the questions so many of us used to have and many may still have about Christianity today.