In many ways I would like to believe again as I once did. I really do miss some aspects of being a Christian:
- Certainty - although this can be over rated and probably isn’t too healthy.
- Community - being with any group of like minded people and having friendships based on a deep spiritual understanding can be very rewarding, although there is a risk of such friendships being conditional on faith.
- Personal development - learning about myself through learning more about God and being on the journey.
Looking back on my life I can see that I gained a great deal from my faith in God and relationship with Jesus, but I didn’t put very much back. That’s probably why, after I lost my faith, I found the small things in life much more precious than when I had been a full on born again Christian. As a Christian my main interest in people was whether or not they were a Christian and if they weren’t how I would share the Gospel with them with the aim of conversion. These days I enjoy getting to know people for their own sakes and am far less judgemental. I don’t think that my former way of thinking is unusual for Christians, but it does place a lower value on those who do not believe, which to me is very unlike the way Jesus treated people.
Earlier today I had an interesting meeting with Peter Anderson of Destiny Church who I have got to know through twitter. My odd background didn’t seem to faze him at all and it was an interesting discussion. Peter’s faith seems to be quite rounded with an interest in unconditional service to others rather than simply in church growth. An interesting and thought provoking encounter. Oh, and his church has an espresso machine, but lets not go there. Peter knows my espresso story and its best forgotten.