Over the past 2 years, I have seen a particular scenario play out many times. People question. They study and ponder in silence. They reach conclusions. They leave. Parents, spouse, and siblings are caught unawares. Family rift and strain sets in.
I would love to share the following message with ALL of my adult friends at church:
Our history, our doctrine, our current policies and especially the stigma and prohibition of even discussing these matters….is coming after your children, your grandchildren, your siblings and your spouse. The sad part is that you won’t even know it until your loved ones have been eaten up by what WE are so anxious to hide from.
Now is the time to talk and prepare. Now is the time to build bridges of safety, trust and understanding. If we don’t engage the discussion here, INSIDE OUR CHAPELS, our loved ones will KNOW that it’s not safe to discuss at church or with faithful church members. Instead, they will turn to a community where it IS safe to discuss history, doctrine and policy. A community where there is no stigma or prohibition. That community is populated by a small minority of faithful members and a huge majority of people who no longer believe.
I have talked to many members who have not shared their transition with their loved ones. Especially family. Only when the transition is complete and irreversible is their story revealed. Today, that’s pretty much the only safe way to pursue questions and doubts. It reflects very poorly on the culture of our church. And that church culture permeates our families.