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Friday, March 4, 2011

Conversions: From Senior Pastor to Church Dropout

by Jason Boyett

Today's conversion story comes from Jeremy Myers. A former seminary graduate and conservative pastor, Jeremy "de-converted" from traditional Christianity. Though still a follower of Christ, he has left the institutional Church altogether. And blogging played a fairly big role in that departure...
During the years in seminary, I began to notice an alarming trend in myself, my professors, my fellow students, and in the seminary alumni I worked with at the non-profit organization: We were all so mean. We each thought that we had the infallible truth, and anyone who disagreed with us was a heretic and a tool of the devil. This attitude pervaded even minor disagreements, such as whether a church could dim the lights and use candles in their service or not. 
 ~ ~ ~
Within a month of the fateful blog post ["The Heretic in Me"], I was asked to resign from my job at the non-profit organization. Not because I said or did anything contrary to their doctrinal statement or had any employee misconduct, but because I was reading books and thinking about ideas that the CEO of the organization considered heretical. Many of my church friends called or wrote to try to "bring me back into the fold" when in reality, I hadn't left yet.
~ ~ ~
Be encouraged. Everywhere I look, people are becoming dissatisfied with church and traditional thinking about the place of Christians in the world. Whenever I encounter someone like this, I tell them that they have been given a gift. Though it feels like they are being ripped away from all they know about God and what He wants us to do, the end result will be a relationship with Him that does not depend on an approved list of behaviors and beliefs. Instead, they can simply enjoy a relationship with God just as they would any other person.

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