About This Blog
This is a page for people who are questioning the faith they were raised in. We want to believe – but in what exactly?
So if there’s something you’ve always wanted to know about Christianity, churches or religion in general, please use the contact form and send me a message!
Based in Brisbane, Australia, and raised by two Uniting Church Ministers, I was brought up with the same beliefs that every 1980s born, middle-class, white, Australian Christian I have ever met was:
- Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose again
- The only way to God is through a belief in Jesus
- The Bible is the divine word of God
- Brush your teeth twice a day and,
- Never question God.
What makes my experience somewhat different though, is not only did I grow up to question these beliefs, but so did my parents.
In my late 20s, after I moved out of home and my mother was no longer my personal minister, I began the search for a new church. A new place to call home.
I didn’t want much…
- a medium sized congregation with a variety of age groups
- a good mix of contemporary music and hymns
- a service that was well constructed, but not too flashy
- a minister who gave a deeply critical and challenging sermon that left the audience just mildly uncomfortable with their middle-class lives, and finally
- an acceptance of gay marriage.
Surprisingly, I was not successful.
There might be churches out there like the one that I wanted, but after trying a few in my area and even a few well beyond my area I gave up. I found that after years of being “spoiled” by my parent’s sermons (some may call it bias), I had become very critical of other churches.
Fast forward a few years and I have almost given up on the concept of church altogether.
My story is certainly not unique. The Christian Research Association claims that “between 1993 and 2009, the proportion of Australians attending a service of worship monthly or more often dropped from 23 per cent to 16 per cent”. I used to be apart of that 23%.
A Progressive Christian Perspective
Despite my palpable cynicism, I still very much consider myself to be a Christian. Though my definition of what are essential Christian beliefs has certainly changed. I would now consider myself to be what’s known as a Progressive Christian.
- I have an enduring belief in one God: who spawned the big bang, this incredible universe and an almost unbelievable process of evolution that resulted in humankind.
- I believe that Jesus walked this Earth and the Bible has great historical relevance. As a historical figure, I believe that Jesus provided us with enduring lessons on what it means to be a responsible, compassionate and brave human in today’s society. That although he was living in a time of slavery, sexism, racism and corruption (so basically the same as today), Jesus acted out a life that put the needs of others before himself.
- But I do not believe in biblical inerrancy. An understanding of how the Bible was written and pieced together is essential knowledge for all Christians to think critically about the document they base their faith, political views, business decisions and their entire lives on.
As such I do not believe that Jesus is the one way to God. The idea that a person living out a life of peace, pursuing social justice, promoting equality or working to reduce corruption would not be accepted by God unless they held a belief defined by one sentence in a fallible document, is to me… ridiculous. And certainly the least ‘Christian’ thing I could imagine believing.
But without getting on a pulpit and preaching, that is a brief summary of my perspective on the great unknown, God, my potentially imaginary friend.
I hope this blog can answer a few questions, or at least get you thinking about what you believe.
– Jo Holden.