No one wakes up one day and says, “I have decided to be a heretic.” Some may ask, along with Glinda in Wicked: “Are people born [heretics] or do they have [heresy] thrust upon them?” As I have said in my previous post, the core of what drives people to heresy is the journey to find some sort of balance to the universe where all is well for all, then no one will be left out of the riches of what God has prepared. However what drives the heresy care is ones own self, not the unchanging truth of God.
What happened for me is that I saw within myself this blackness that I did not know how to handle. Having been a Christian for so long I found myself fighting that black tar sin with growing despair. The answer that my church gave me was to work harder, to take the weekly challenge from the sermon, strive toward perfection, and eventually become sinless, and thus embody Christ on earth. What resulted is a growing infection that obscured my sin from my own eyes, because this was the only way that I could reconcile what I heard from the pulpit and what I knew to be true about myself.
In The Pilgrim’s Regress CS Lewis talks about growing up and being handed a card that was covered front and back with rules. He found that there was no possibility of following all of the rules, and this set him on his journey to find what truth really was.
As I was wondering around in the forest of the Emergent Church (see part 2), I decided to follow what I believed to be God’s call on my life to serve as a pastor. I honestly thought that I had something figured out, and was ready to lead a group of people in the same direction.
My fervent determination to make a difference in the church instilled a passion for learning, and in the process was opened to a number of books and resources on church leadership and church models, which is how I was exposed to the work of Thom Rainer.
Because I have had people ask me if I have ever actually gone to the source to see if what I am writing about Rob Bell is true and reliable regarding his theology, I attempted to contact him via his author page at Zondervan’ website:
| Customer (Aaron Gardner)
||09/29/2009 04:14 PM
|Dear Mr. Bell,
I have one simple yes or no question for you: do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Thanks for your time,
Every story has at least two sides. In part 1 I shared the dutiful reasons for my criticisms. Here is the other side of that story.
I have been on a journey of faith for most of my life. It has been difficult to say when that journey actually started, partly because it had so many eventful stops that have taken me in different directions along the way. Years ago I read The Pilgrim’s Regress by CS Lewis and it was in that reading that I was comforted to know that I was not alone. Although my journey has really not taken me too far from Christianity, it has led me down paths where I have had the honor of rubbing shoulders with people who have challenged me to think very differently about my own faith and who have instilled in me the value of being open to criticism and self-examination.