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Feeling out of place again in church

Posted by Dinah on September 16, 2008, at 8:49:48

Not too long ago I discovered a Sunday School class where I felt for the first time in a long time like I was accepted by real life people for who I was.

But now I'm thinking again that my family would just be better off without me at church. I'm a liability.

There are things I just don't believe. I've prayed, and I've read, and there are areas where I just can't believe traditional doctrine. Theoretically (according to the leaders I've consulted) that isn't a problem in my church. They encourage people to think and don't require orthodoxy. But in practical terms it is a bit of a problem.

I think part of it may be the fact that I was not raised a Protestant. My formative years were spent thinking of various concepts in different ways. The relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the Fall of Man are two concepts where I don't think I can ever have orthodox beliefs according to my current faith.

Yet I ran into the same problem with my old faith, one where it was more necessary for me to believe in totality. I miss that church, but not only can I not believe in all doctrine there, but my husband would not agree to join either.

My personal theology is closest to Judaism. I've talked to a rabbi twice about converting. But he told me that God cared more about my worshiping in unity with my husband and son than he did about where I worshiped. I told my son that recently. Without prompting or hints of how he should react, he answered that that Rabbi was very wise and he thought that was a good answer. One of the things I'm proudest of is that he is a very ecumenical thinker. He has enormous respect for the Jewish faith, not only because of what I've taught him, but also because his school educates and shows respect for all faiths instead of banning faith entirely from classrooms.

I am fully aware that my issue may fall away in time, as we move on to different topics in Sunday School. It's a great class, and I really feel close to the people there. Although I doubt that shows. I am so afraid of socializing, and so aware of my unattractiveness on so many levels in a social setting, that I'm sure I appear stand-offish.

I don't know why I'm posting this, except that I'm sad that my lack of ability to believe has tainted another church experience.




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