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← Falling from Faith: When Pastors Stop Believing

jsweet's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by jsweet

Secondly, to blame the church or churches because of various actions or inaction as a reason for leaving the faith ignores the individuals doctrinal and theological education, and their ability to employ critical thought. Also, when one disagrees with a church (or entire denomination for that matter), it necessitates a change of venue. The individual church is no different from an automotive service station. When you do not like or agree with how they work on your car, you simply find another mechanic. You don't quit driving.

Just a point about this... I haven't read the original pastor's article, so I dunno how he framed it... but there is an element of truth to the idea that a bad sect can cause someone to let go of their faith, when that same person might very well have persisted in their faith had they found themselves in a "good" sect. This is not because the "good" sect is actually beneficial or has any access to the truth, but simply because all the things that are wrong with religion are more easily visible when you are immersed in a particularly striking example of those bad things.

To use an analogy... Say Alice and Bob both don't wear their seatbelts. They each find seatbelts uncomfortable, and so rationalize away all the dangers. One day, Alice gets in a minor accident. She is okay, but she gets banged up a lot worse than she would have if she had been wearing her seatbelt. It causes her to re-examine her attitudes, and decides that the slight discomfort is worth it for the safety benefits. Bob, on the other hand, is lucky enough to never get in an accident, so he is never motivated to re-examine his attitudes, and persists in not wearing a seatbelt until he dies of old age.

Bob was still an idiot for not wearing his seatbelt. And Alice would have persisted in her foolishness too, were it not for the bad experience she had.

It's the same with "bad" religion vs. progressive religion. Absolutely, "bad" religion drives a lot of people out of the faith who would have stuck with it if they had had a good experience. So what? It's still foolish.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 20:11:20 UTC | #945066