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The Faith That Never Was originally posted: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 19:03 at the Threshing Floor Blog In my spiritual walk, I often encounter people who are long traumatized by their association with organized Christianity. People who were raised in Fundamentalist homes, attended Pentecostal or Charismatic churches; who passed through Sunday schools, youth groups, and church membership, baptismal, or catechism course. People who reached a crisis of faith and ultimately withdrew from the entity called “The Church”. Many are guilt-ridden, feel detached from God, or spend years going through “alternative” religious tracks…some, even abandon the concept of God completely. I have been all of those people in various stages of my religious metamorphosis. And when I meet them, the inevitable conversation ensues: a conversation that has a tone of apology, laced with bewilderment, and no small amount of rejection and hurt. Even seekers in online communities find themselve ostracized, mocked, and cursed because they believe the “wrong things”, read the wrong books, or embrace aspects of spirituality that are labelled “occult”, “new age”, even “satanic”. I have been on both sides of those communities. For the former, I am deeply repentant of my judgmental behavior, rock-ribbed doctrinal piety, and my zeal to take apart those things I called ‘heresies’. For the latter, I am, like those I note above, still bewildered and not without emotional trauma. How was it that I thought I could hear God that way? How is it that so quickly, I could discern the ring of falseness in the orthodoxy, and begin to see truths in the things I called heretical? In a sweep of just under one year, my journey brings...