Morning! It’s a Wednesday. My kids are in care today so it gives me a few blessed hours to slam out literary brilliance. (Where is the sarcasm sign when you need it?) I’m about to start a series that will be geared around rediscovering yourself and your faith after your world has been turned upside down. I thought it would be easy to slam out, but I’m giving it some good thought first. Because when someone loses something that formed a big part of their identity – well gee, thats not trivial! It deserves a bit of homework on my part before I write it.
But before I start on that, I wanted to pop a quick thought out there – a challenge perhaps. So here’s todays microblog.
It’s easy to define ourselves on what we aren’t anymore, or what we don’t believe in. It’s easy to say I’m ex-this or ex-that. When I first began the process of deconstructing and reconstructing faith, I liked the term exvangelical (short for ex-evangelical). It resonated with me as it encapsulated some of the things I was no longer comfortable with. I still like it. I’m still probably exvangelical (even though technically my church is evangelical, I guess.)
Deconstructing your old faith and reconstructing your new one is tough, messy work. I’m also going to say its beautiful, because deep reflection and thought can lead to a more informed and authentic faith. It can lead you through some of the roadblocks that kept you and God apart, helping you to shed the unhelpful aspects of religion and dogma and discover new, more helpful aspects of a living, evolving faith. If you are on that journey, be it about faith or identity or whatever, perhaps you could try to think about defining yourself by what you are rather than by what you’re not anymore. I found that helpful.
I am most likely an exvangelical. But I’d rather think of myself as a post-modern Christian, a compassionate person, a deep thinker, a good friend, a person of faith, and a person of conscience. There’s no tidy, all-encompassing term for that. But its a positive identity based on what I’m moving towards, not an identity based on what I’m moving away from.
Just a thought.
Have a fab day and I’ll see you early next week with a piece on deconstruction and reconstruction of faith!