When any person leaves a cultural institution, a religious system, an organization or they simply outgrow their present situation, they are given many labels:
- Lost or Malcontent
The Herd hates it when when someone strays. So the assumption is that the leaver is wandering, lost or deficient.
But what if the stray sees something the herd can’t see, or won’t see?
Every advancement in human history came from the stray, not the herd.
This “group think” is same for the Catholic, Jew, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Muslim, or the Christian who goes to their religious institution for unknown motivations. It is also found in every political, religious, educational, or civic institution. Yet, despite this prevalent reality, the stray is always among us.
It was true for the elf who wanted to be a dentist in the story of Rudolph. It is true for those who change political parties, or quit their jobs or drop out of school. If a person becomes unconventional or goes against expectations, it creates a problem for those who hold institutional power.
Hollywood gets it. We love movies where the defectors rise up, where the underdog has victory. It’s a story that resinates with all humanity. It’s a cry of freedom. Our very country is based on this. It’s the essence of God’s very narrative. It’s the messianic narrative or Christoform pattern being told in the countless lives of people around us.
I’m all about this. I love how the story of rising up is told within each of us.
This has put me on a quest. I can prove that God exists. Furthermore, I can prove that God and his/her Church don’t fit within the narrow definitions and limited paradigms of fundamental cultural Christianity, nor any particular religion.
If God can fit in your box, then you don’t have God. You have an idol. A toy. A malleable piece of clay that you can fashion in your own image. No wonder Atheists look at such a religion and call “Bullshit.” They are right.
I won’t use the tribal language of the cultural church to do this. I’ll speak the way we all speak. We have all touched the transcendent. We have all had times in our lives where we touched something or someone more. Or something or someone greater touched us. What was that? What is it’s name? How can we know it? It seems to know us. Are there any human institutions reliable for such a pursuit?
Do we need a process to relate to this transcendence? Why do people want to control access to this?
Please don’t lump me into some category, and I’ll do the same for you. I’m not angry, I’m not disgruntled, and it’s not as though I just never found the “right” church. My experience is as valid as yours and we need each other to on this journey.
My history is unique in that it is truly bi-vocational. I’ve been in various paid and volunteer ministry positions for over 25 years. I’ve also worked in the real world during those same years working along side of scientists, geneticists, sales professionals and doctors in the biotech industry of human genetics and cancer. This ivory tower/real world experience has shown that many of the Sunday School ideas do not play out in the real world, and it has clearly revealed that the real world desperately seeks answers to legitimate questions.
Questions that I intend to bring up here. It is not my goal to diss the church although sometimes I will be highly critical. But I’ve earned the right to do so. I’ve served it whole heartedly for so long. My bible references are not just shot from my hip. I’ve read the bible more than 35 times and studied the original languages. I have a PhD in Christian Ethics and studied theology for years. But I’m not close-minded. I’ve read the book of Mormon, the Quaran, many books in Quantum physics, work from Eastern mystics and Buddhism and much more. I’m fascinated with the overlap between us all and I believe we all have something to learn. It starts with humility.
I do believe there is a meaningful yet unique path for us, we just need to walk it in faith. A faith that evolves to its highest most integral place.
We need new ideas. We need ambiguity and lots of questions. We need each other. When we open our eyes just a little wider, we can see glimpses of it. Soon we won’t be able to miss it.
I will strive to do my part in pointing it out to any who cares of such things.
You can always learn more about my work or contact me at: http://www.kevenwinder.com