One of the more difficult things I’ve discovered since “stepping out from under the Christian Guilt” is that it is quite difficult to talk to people at church about it. Almost all of them will have had no idea I’ve even been asking questions. Or that I’ve been searching in a wider and wider circle for answers… That’s kind of why I haven’t left my bible study. But when your whole attitude to seeking divine assistance (i.e. “Christian” prayer) has been completely changed, it can make it awkward when asked for prayer points. So my prayer points have been “praise points” that my exploration is, well, bearing fruit.
My fellow study-ers have been curious, naturally. Last night, we had a member come back to the group after being in a special-purpose study for a few months that ended last week. So she hadn’t heard anything about my journey before. Not surprisingly, after the prayers were over, I got quizzed about what I meant.
I didn’t tell them everything. I couldn’t tell them everything. But I could tell them about The Naked Pastor. I could tell them about my frustration that the church seems to so solidly ignore the Bible’s provenance. I could tell them about the Mankind Project and the New Warrior Training I did two years ago. I could tell them about Pagan Christianity, which I have started reading. I could also tell them about Jesus Through Pagan Eyes, though that was a bit riskier. I did not tell them about The Path Of A Christian Witch. My spiritual library is obviously growing highly eclectic! I also realized last night that I felt a bit like Peter in the story from Acts just before he met Cornelius, and could say so, too, because one of my strongest convictions is that God is telling me “go look at Christianity from the outside but also go see what other spiritual practices are there. I’ll be here if you come back. You may not need to.”
This was a bit of a gamble, but it seemed to have been taken well. The person who asks may have gotten more than she bargained for. The host was curious and didn’t seem much surprised. There were a few people missing, including two or three people I thought would be less receptive to what I said.
I might have under-estimated how much they might respect a spiritual journey. Many journeys are better shared but some are better shared more carefully, especially if the ones you are sharing with think you are going “off-road” a bit too hard.