I’ve decided to take my blog in a new direction for the next few weeks. I’m going to be doing a series called “Redefining Orthodoxy.” In this series I will examine traditional, orthodox Christian beliefs, and explain how my understanding–though perhaps atypical–fits within orthodox Christianity. I’ve started by creating a Statement of Faith, a living document that essentially outlines my perspective on life.
For those who have know me or have been following my blog for the past few years, you know that I’ve undergone a process of spiritual deconstruction. I grew up in a theologically conservative Christian tradition. Beginning three or four years ago, I began deconstructing my faith with the support and help of many loved ones. Piece by piece, I pulled apart the faith that I learned growing up, until all that was left was a pile of spiritual detritus. But chaos is not humanity’s preferential state. I began trying to make sense of the pieces that remained. After much studying, thinking and discussing, I began to form my own ideas and opinions about the nature of God and the human experience. The result looked nothing like the concepts that I had learned as a kid. From the conservative Christian perspective of my youth, I am most likely an atheist or Buddhist and most certainly a heretic.
Yet, I still deeply appreciate and value the stories of the Bible. I still find many of the truths found within it to be beautiful and inspiring. I love the metaphors of the incarnation, communion, crucifixion and resurrection. I never could let go of these ideas, even though I struggled to understand how they apply to my beliefs. I never could disregard the religious tradition that I grew up in. I still identified myself as a Christian.
So this project, Redefining Orthodoxy, will be a personal endeavor to reclaim my faith practice. I will attempt to explain how my atypical beliefs still fit within orthodox Christian beliefs like the incarnation, communion, crucifixion and resurrection.
As I reinterpret fundamental Christian beliefs and illuminate a new perspective on an ancient faith, I have two hopes for my readers. For anyone undergoing a similar process of deconstruction, I hope to encourage you to look for and cherish the beautiful, redeemable aspects in their own faith practice. For those who profess popularly accepted orthodox beliefs, I hope that this new perspective will challenge you to ask critical questions about your beliefs.
In the process, I invite dialogue. If you feel I am being inconsistent, please respectfully bring the inconsistency to my attention. If there are specific issues which you would like me to address, please let me know. The topics which I discuss often evoke strong emotional responses; please be respectful. Remember that the purpose of communication is to understand one another, not prove oneself right.