Do I stay Christian? It’s a fascinating question when you consider the deconstructive journey of someone who has battled through the contradictions of the American Christian landscape compared to Jesus’ ministry and teachings.
The fact of the matter is that many people have left the American church over the last decade. A recent Gallup poll found that Americans’ membership in houses of worship dropped below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend. That’s nearly 23% less than the 1999 poll that found 70% of Americans participated in a house of worship.
Of course, the lazy response is to say that people have lost their faith and abandoned all spiritual ethics. Except that more Americans today say that they are spiritual but not religious.
A different approach to this conversation is to examine the next steps after someone has deconstructed their faith but found their belief in Jesus has never been more foundational.
“I am not writing this book to convince you to stay Christian. Nor am I writing this book to convince you to leave Christian identity behind forever. Instead, I want to think through the question of retaining and shredding Christian identity with you looking over my shoulder. And I want us to consider how we are going to live, whether or not we identify as Christian,” said Brian McLaren on the CBF Podcast Conversation.
McLaren sat down with us to discuss his new book, “Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned.” He is also the author of “Faith After Doubt,” “The Great Spiritual Migration,” and “The Secret Message of Jesus.”
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the Associate Executive Coordinator of CBF North Carolina. He’s also served as CBF’s Church Start Specialist, the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton, and the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge. Follow on Twitter @haleandy.
It is becoming ever more evident that the “emerging church theology” has permeated the CBF. Orthodox Christians have lost another place to belong.