We’ve had some problems making book chapters available here on the site—very sorry about that. In the meantime, I’ll summarize some of what’s in them. Chapter two, in A Faith Interrupted, examines the “root cause” of departure from church. I’ve paraphrased the main reasons people leave the church, the faith, or both:
- You no longer believe in God, at least not in the Judeo-Christian God.
- Your theology has changed; you do not maintain the same doctrinal or theological aspects of the faith as you did previously.
- You have difficulties with a particular faith community or church—whether that difficulty is with specific relationships or topics and policies that have come up.
- You have difficulties with the actual experience of church attendance, church involvement, or the Mass.
- You are at odds with the larger Church—some aspect of the institution.
- You’ve gone through changes in your personal life that make it difficult to be part of a church community.
Do you see yourself anywhere on this “map of departures”? Have you ever articulated—to yourself or to an attentive listener—exactly why you are now on the edge of the faith or the faith community?
I encourage you to journal about this—the details of your “edgy-ness”: what, who, why, when, where. Pin down any facts you can. Then work with what surrounds the facts—conversations, your memories, your feelings and thoughts.
If you do this sort of exploration, consider it a really good prayer time. Peace to you . . .