This is the first in a series on leaving Fundamentalism. In addition to my thoughts, no doubt others will have their own insights to add. In time, I hope to become more adept at this. SFL should have a more permanently accessible page for those planning their escape from fundamentalism.
Time to Go!
You’ve seen enough. You’ve calculated the cost and burned your bridges [if only in the sanctuary of your own mind]. Insipid antics, sanctimonious sermons with neither form nor content, theological unbalance, irrational arguments, scurrilous slanders on [always-at-fault] women, double standards and false standards, bellicose rhetoric, ignorance and anger – all this and much more established one thing: It is time to go!
Less than an official guide, more than a few principles, here are some admittedly fallible observations on finding a church. No perfect church exists. You may need to scratch something on your ‘looking for’ list. But solid matches do exist. Make a GOOD effort! You need to be able to live with your church. But also enjoy this. Give yourself permission to be ‘playful’ about this! Church? Fun? Heeeeey! Who would have imagined it!
Why Hurry to Re-affiliate?
1. You needn’t rush to re-affiliate. Know that churches do target seekers.
Many churches have people who gush about how wonderful it is here. Not infrequently, gushy people left another bad situation. They’re happy now because the old dynamics associated with their former congregation are GONE! That alone doesn’t mean the new situation has no issues. You want a good sense of where a church is before you affiliate.
Take your time. Look around. Especially if you’re looking at a number of possibilities, six months likely won’t be enough. Depending on where you are and what options are available, take a year. Perhaps two are in order.
Finding a church is rather like a marriage. Both are a big step, and in each case, you’re after a good match. Many new things are before you. You’re going to grow in perspective as you look. You’ll learn plenty! As you do, you may want to revise your ‘looking for’ list. Remember that you need to be able to live with your church. Take your time! Two years isn’t too long.