Back to Earth

Well first, Jeff goes bye-bye…. again. No surprise there (although he claims it wasn’t his fault, I personally think it was completely his subconscious acting out…. again).

Then, the ever insightful Zeke says “Adios”.

And next, I read that Dorsey is thinking of shutting down, but he does a head-fake and proceeds to post – but who knows for how long.

So here I sit after a month of not posting understanding that shutting up might be a blessing to some, but I am nowhere near done. If I ever was really honest about the things running around my brain, this blog might go to the next level. Trust me, I am working on it, working on me, working on my life… and seeing things much more clearly than I did even three months ago (not to mention three years ago).

Why? Because of one word.

Disconnecting.

I think disconnecting can be a very healthy thing for some people. It has been for me. Let me explain…

Prior to leaving the church, I was very connected to that community of people. Prior to experiencing the breakup of my marriage, I was also very connected to my wife.

What I have found is that what I perceived as healthy connections were truly unhealthy enmeshments. To be enmeshed in something is to be entangled and intertwined.

The level of which I was enmeshed in the church and in my marriage was unhealthy for me. To flip a phrase, it caused me to not see the trees for the forest. I was so enamored of the big picture of things… that I missed the realities of the situation and what was actually happening in front of me. I didn’t bury my head in the sand, I often buried my head in the sky.

Disconnecting has caused me to see things more clearly. It has brought me back to earth.

15 thoughts on “Back to Earth”

  1. I’ve been disconnected in recent months, too. Living life and not trying so hard to find answers. Interestingly, a friend emailed me a few days ago. her mom is in a medical crisis and the friend spent half the email berating herself for her weak faith that had her questioning God’s will for her life and her mom’s. As someone *really* disconnected from church, her words just hit me with an obvious thud: she’d internalized the same thing I did in the church, with is utter self-hatred and guilt when you can’t live up to the impossible saintly standards paraded in front of you. I said as much in an email to her (“where’s grace?” I asked) and she wrote back to thank me for what turned out to be comforting words. She went so far as to call it wisdom. (I’m not so sure about that.)[/end tangent]Like societyvs, I miss community. I’ve started wondering if I can find de-converts in my area to meet and hang out with periodically. (Boston, anyone?) Just being able to discuss and grapple with all this stuff in person lends the whole faith crisis experience a different aura. It’s one thing to blog and read this stuff; it’s another to discuss it over coffee or drinks.

  2. Well, I’m glad to see your absence from blogging wasn’t a permanent condition. I found your blog shortly after launching my own just recently, and liked reading your stuff. Now I can hold out hope there’s more to read in the future…and I don’t have to wrestle with whether it’s relevant to keep you in my blogroll. 😉

  3. It’s like a drug Jeff… don’t get strung out man!! 🙂As for being “really honest”… it’s not that I am dishonest, but I do have an internal censor that keeps me from being too transparent (obviously family matters are private for a reason). However, I think my experiences regarding my family situation and the journey I have traveled the past two years surrounding my faith are beneficial. But I still suffer from “what will others think”… which is a remnant from my ego-centered self and the often “double-life” that pastors and public leaders struggle with… and I continue to want to pull back the curtain on that aspect of my life.

  4. Steve, I’m coming full circle, albeit I’m leaning toward the Orthodox community, but I absolutely had to have my time in the wilderness. Buddhism and atheism were places I visited, and I have a great appreciation for each. In the end, I’m finding something very cool, but it wouldn’t have happened without my time away.God isn’t honored with bullshit lip service belief. What I mean by that is how many people really are dying on the inside from a crisis of faith while sitting in the pews and are too afraid to experience that crisis? Hey, I still have a ton of things to work out. For example, the Orthodox community isn’t all that accepting of GLBT’s and that is a tough one for me because I have some friends and family in this community, and I can’t quite reconcile God’s love with those few pesky warning passages. Nevertheless, the winds of change are driving me toward Constantinople.Enjoy the journey, Steve. Experience it.

  5. For the last 8 years, I’ve been in a church filled with good performances and bad theology. And even though I’ve physically been there, I’ve been 100% disconnected.It took me leaving that situation (physical disconnect), and surrounding myself with some folks who are not in it for the show (reconnect) to find my freedom.It’s been a good week.(of course, disconnecting from the blogs turned out to be helpful in its own right… 🙂

  6. “If I ever was really honest about the things running around my brain, this blog might go to the next level. Trust me, I am working on it”Why not just go for it? Those who would take exception to it won’t like a blog called Stupid Church People anyway, and the rest of us might find it interesting or (dare I suggest it) useful.

  7. Steve, I’m with everyone else, just post from your heart. Otherwise it’ll get boring. Besides, this site is a safe place for me to discuss junk.When you’re in a church, you wish you could express your opinions openly sometimes, but you are careful not to offend because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or cause a quarrel. But this is a great place to come and talk about it.

  8. Oh and Steve, in my defense, I really did screw up my blog account my messing with my gmail account. You’re right, though. it was probably something deep in my subconscious…But I have been writing a few blogs on myspace. Unfortunately, no one ever sees them there, so I opened up a small blog in case anyone is interested.devangelical.blogspot.com

  9. Steve, appreciate the kind words.JB and all, just leaving the blog up there with no sign-off just felt incomplete to me. It’s not like I’ve run out of things to say, it just didn’t seem like the blog was the right vehicle anymore.

  10. For those feeling disconnected, maybe a good idea would be to join a freethinkers meetup in your city. I joined in Chicago. A good community and outlet for discussion…

  11. Getting out here on the blogs helps me to “disconnect” in a way. You guys certainly bring a different voice into my life. Many times I disagree with the commentary, but I always feel like I go away enriched. Whether from reinforcing my own beliefs or seeing truth in another viewpoint and changing my mind for the better.I just think that all these guys who are quitting ought to reconsider and just keep it open. So what if sits for awhile. Just let us know somehow when a new post comes up. I mean really, how could anyone ever have nothing more to say. Are they done living?

  12. I noticed this trend also – of people leaving the blog-a-sphere…I wonder why but then again real life does call. “Disconnecting has caused me to see things more clearly. It has brought me back to earth.” (Steve)I tend to agree with this also – disconnecting can help one step back and look at the situation from a wider scope. I think all of us that have been in churches are very aware of this – we tend to think in terms of bigger picture structure and not always smaller real world people (cause holding up ideals or even formula’s is the name of the game in church). Sometimes – stepping back and taking another look is very helpful – this also worked for me.Oddly enough, I do miss community and I am thinking of going back (to church). There is something to be said for community – even dysfunctional ones – they give people a place and a role.

  13. I agree. What’s the point of something less? Say what’s on your mind, man.Disconnecting from church freed me to better connect with the important relationships in my life. Much better.

  14. Wise words Steve and company. However I would argue that the corelation between the e-disconnect and the church disconnect are a bit off. I can’t say that I’ve EVER had as much substantive conversation at ANY church as I’ve had here.That is to say, the church should be a place we go to have some group activities, but the meat and potoatoes happens at home, in the streets, in close quarters.I will be the very first to admit that I have fallen victim to the lure of church-infatuation. It is a constant struggle not to sucumb to the lure of the glitz and glammour of churchiness. The real stuff happens at a Starbucks, or on someones ratty couche. Not to say that the corporate fellowship experience isn’t valid, scriptures tell us it is, but it should NEVER be the end all be all.good times.

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