Archive for September, 2003

Losing My Religion

Monday, September 29th, 2003

I have just finished reading a book called “Losing My Religion” by Gordon Lynch and I would strongly recommend it to anyone stuggling with evangelicalism. The book explores what its like to feel fed up with the way evangelicals see faith, and goes on to talk about what to do next.

As someone who would say the basis of their faith is evangelical, I found the book to be helpful.

Just recently, maybe because I’ve just reached 40??, I have found great distaste in what we do at church. The way we over simplify faith and suggest to any that life’s real problems have an ‘abc’ answer to them.

Life is complex and even more so if you try and fit God into your emotions and feelings. Its great to have God there but sometimes her presence feels uncomfortable. I can often exist with God whilst also avoiding letting it really mean anything.

I want to experience God not be able to explain him to someone in short simple, and unhelpful ways. I don’t want a book by Nicky Gumble that answers all of lifes problems in less than 300 pages and I don’t want to get it wrong, because if I do, it suggests I know what is right.

Loose my religion – yes. Experience God – yes. How…refreshingly I don’t know.

Andrew Cook….40 today!

Starving

Monday, September 22nd, 2003

Someone said yesterday that they’d been speaking to an African Christian who pointed out that when we say things like “we’re so lucky” and “God has given us so much” that is an incredibly materialistic view of the world.

And this morning that set me thinking about how much God has given us spiritually: how nourished we are. And I thought: not a lot. I’m not necessarily trying to blame God here, although I’m not necessarily trying to absolve him completely either.

What is it like to starve? It’s a distasteful analogy I know, but think about it for a minute: how serious is our situation? Do we believe that we can’t live on bread alone? Someone who is starving is hardly able to move – they are paralysed, unbearably tired, dry and aching. How do you feel when you go to church?

I feel like we’re starving. Not metaphorically, but actually. I think we’re struggling on as if just going through all of the stuff will somehow give us our life back. But it doesn’t. We find a scrap here or there, and we hang on to it – we remember what it felt like to eat and drink from our creator, but it gets used up and we’re dry again, and the shades come down.

And I prayed this morning, and I’ll do it again now, that God will change this situation. Please God, feed us and cloth us, pick us up from the dust and let us feel your touch. We are weak, and the knowledge of your son is not enough – we need to feel him with us, healing us.

Although there are many ways we block you from us – and we renounce them now – I know we can’t fix this. Only you can, and we beg you to give us just a little of you.

Where are your promises? Where is the abundant life you promised?

Today I want to say not “O God thank you for giving me so much,” but “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I beg you, take pity on me, on us.

“Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One.”