But I can't walk away.
Ran across this very interesting blog post from Rachel Held Evans on the future of Evangelicalism. I saw a little of my own struggle in her post, especially when she wrote:
But the problem is that after ten years, I’m getting tired of trying to convince fellow Christians that I am, in fact, a Christian, even though I may vote a little differently than they vote, interpret the Bible differently than they interpret it, engage with science a little differently than they engage with it, and understand sovereignty and choice a little differently than they understand those things.For me the difference is more than "slightly" or "little." I differ a great deal from my conservative counterparts on these issues. She reminds me, in her generous and compassionate tone, of our blog friend Natalie, who wrote a nice post on her own struggles to find a church home. Both seem more open to engage with the conservatives and able to clearly distinguish between their faith and their disagreements.
I struggle with both. I don't know quite how to disconnect from the evangelical faith that can suggest that in a "personal relationship with Christ," one can endorse or tolerate the worst of the worst. Perhaps it is because the language I grew up with is encoded in my discussion of faith. I remember Joseph Campbell once compared our religious upbringing to computer language. It is part of our coding, and as such, he was relatively skeptical of the ability to completely change religious faith traditions (I may be combining Campbell with discussions about Campbell...).
Either way, I find it hard to talk about faith in the language of the conservative church--because it no longer reflects my beliefs or experience--but also struggle to find a way to talk about faith in a way that reflects my beliefs and experience.