Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Becoming Agnostic

Doubt can be an overpowering force. It can also be attention getting. In my prior post I discussed my initial reactions to the article of William Lobdell of the LA Times.

As it turns out, Mr. Lobdell is getting lots of media attention, and feedback from readers. Today he was interviewed on NPR's Day to Day. Have a listen.

The LA Times had an interactive chat on his article here. Noted below are excerpts from the chat containing comments by Mr. Lobdell.

It turns our that Mr. Lobdell is a "long-time fan" of Christopher Hitchins. My friend Mark Roberts has
much to say about Christopher Hitchins, having debated him on radio recently.

Mr. Lobdell has, what seems to be to be understandable indignation about the Catholic church. He states, "One of the biggest disappointments for me was the incredibly few number of priests and bishops who reported child molesters they knew were in their midst without first being contacted by attorneys, the media or authorities. It's the exact opposite of what the Gospel -- and our secular laws -- say to do." Amen to that.

When asked about his feelings about loosing his faith, Mr. Lobdell replies, "A) Sad B) Angry C) Liberated D) Confused E) Uneasy". This to me is fascinating. I would love to learn more about these feelings.

When asked about home churches, which the LA Times also recently covered, Mr. Lobdell offers, "The younger generation really insists on a real faith and not something contained in buildings. Though it has some drawbacks, I think it would eliminate some of the problems inherent in an unchecked power structure." I agree; this is Missional Church at its best!

Another observation worthy of merit: "Very generally, the churches that seemed to work the best -- that, at least in my opinion -- carried out the Gospel the best were small, poor churches, both Catholic and Protestant." Again, a thoughtful response.

And finally, this: "I've covered a lot of non-religious stories, but I traditionally never got more vicious hate mail than from people of the faith -- probably because they believe so much is at stake. This is a phenomenon attested to by religion writers across the country. But for whatever reason, this story provoked a different response. It was almost entirely loving and caring and gentle, whether from Christians, Jews, Muslims, agnostics or atheists."

This comment about mean spirited people of faith made me think about another recent event in my own life.

I think that if Bill Lobdell lived across the fence from me, we might spent a lot of time hanging out together. I so appreciate his honesty, his willingness to be truthful. He has not shut the door to things of faith, but he has admitted his struggles. I would not want to make him my project, or make him think like me. I would like to be his friend, no strings attached.

Bill Lobdell, I wish you well on your journey. May it find you, someday, again following Christ, but in a way that for you feels real, and honest, and redemptive.
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