My small group met again today and this time it wasn’t a really small group. Today there were five of us so we really got the ball rolling. It was amazing! We kind of all knew at least one person there but we aren’t what I’d call “tight”, but our discussions were very open, very quickly. I’m not sure if it was that the participants knew that the others weren’t committed to an established church or if they just felt comfortable for other reasons, but it has taken churchy small groups that I’ve been in months to get to the point this small group was at in five minutes.
You see churchy people think that they need to be churchy. They think they need to follow the rules. They believe they have sinned when they questions things like God, the Bible, established religion, or church leaders. Maybe some don’t think this but the “social mirror” we project is that questioning authority in a religious sense is not a good thing so churchy people are slow to do so.
This small group, on the other hand, was all about the questioning. Here’s just a snippet of some of the things we discussed:
• Why should I trust the Bible that was written so long ago by people we aren’t even sure wrote it or not?
• Also why should I trust the Bible that obviously contracts itself at various places?
• People seek God to find a purpose in life.
• I don’t see that people who are religious have anything better off than non-religious people.
• I know that I’m seeking something, I just have so many questions.
• Why is God the thing that is greater than ourselves that we seek? Why not family, community, other rituals?
• Isn’t religion a social construct that evolves as groups of people merge together?
• I don’t see how the Trinity can be separate but equal.
• How can people take the Bible so literally? I have a friend that won’t believe dinosaurs existed.
• I see all religions as a set of hoops that you have to jump through.
• Why are churches changing what they do in order to reach new people? Are they saying what they did before was wrong? Why does theology need to change?
We also covered topics such as choosing happiness, let go and let God, finding peace by doing good, “ruining” your child by not taking them to church, evangelical terrorists (having religion forced upon you), good people vs bad people vs religious and non religious, and a host of other things.
I feel like I’m beginning the next phase of who God called me to be. I so desperately want to tell them all everything I believe, but I know that they need to find out more about their own beliefs for themselves. I hope to answer so many of their questions, but I know from experience that even if I do they’ll have even more questions about their answers.
This is one of those times when I have to trust God and trust the women in this group. These are highly intelligent and deeply spiritual women who are just seeking to understand. I am there as a guide. To use my knowledge and resources to help them discover truth in a world that is constantly lying to them, fulfillment in a world with much emptiness.
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