For those who have started deconstructing because churches have been closed and it’s the first time you are not running around serving and you are not so busy you can’t think anymore, you might enjoy our two part series of our (Cally, Dave, Nate and my) journey out of evangelicalism. Part two drops today. Here is part 1:

Church can be helpful if you are shy or socially awkward at times. It can ease the stress if you do not have people skills or know how to cultivate relationships or build friendships churches can fill a social needs “gap”.

But people often conflate real friendships for “people I see each week because I go to the same building and have superficial talk for a couple of minutes over coffee time.”

Deeper relationships are not taught and this can be problematic as acceptance is often predicated on agreeing to a set of shared beliefs.

I remember being pressured by evangelicals when I was not in church to be part of a church.

Although I landed in a very beautiful progressive and affirming church, I wonder how much of that pressure to stay in church was about indoctrination or brainwashing.

Stuff became more clear with a step out and it rooted me firmly in the opinion that my time out of church was my time best spent and was critical to my mental emotional and spiritual well being. You can’t gain a perspective without stepping out of that bubble.

Also I no longer believe someone is better off just because they are part of a church community. Communities can be found anywhere. I have had more permanent, reliable secure community among secular groups of people than I ever had in my evangelical church I attended for almost two decades that called me spiritual family.

And if you disagree just step out for a year and see how many people notice follow up or care.
I realize that relationships that are only connected by shared beliefs and a specific building we meet in are the weakest and most fragile fellowship and community one could have.

If your beliefs change watch which people or relationships evaporate. Next ask yourself if that’s about love or friendship at all (or if it’s healthy) if holding to a specific set of beliefs necessitates their support and a change in beliefs ends a relationship.

I said what I said. 🤷‍♀️

(Image: h/t Jen Hindley )