A reader writes: All the religious garbage I’ve acquired

A reader writes:

I have so enjoyed reading your books, right now I’m reading the secret message of Jesus. I will try to make a long story short. I grew up Lutheran, left the church when I was in my early twenties. Have some fog on an abuse issue I suffered under a lutheran pastor when I was six, but anyways, I moved on to churches that taught born again,and adult baptism,etc. In that setting, it was discovered that I had a gift of music, so I began to write songs and was on a worship team for several years. Short story, I got in the middle of a dog fight and was kicked off the team because of my friendship with others. Anyhow, I’ve been to a few churches and eventually came to a small group, where we were listening to Dr. Greg Boyd, in which I was ministered to greatly. However some in the group thought he is a heratic, and so here I am, not going anywhere at the moment. My uncle, who is a retired United pastor who married his lesbian daughter, told me about your books. OFcourse I was skeptical because of all the religious garbage I’ve acquired over the years. But, I absolutely enjoy everything I’ve come across. I guess I want to say a huge thankyou! I am praying that I will find a group or church or whatever that are willing to think outside the box like yourself. I don’t suppose you will be coming to Ontario, Canada, anytime soon?

Thanks for this note. Greg is a friend, and it’s sad (but completely predictable) to see good people like him labelled heretics. (Recently he’s been grappling with the subject of violence in the Bible, which will garner him even more criticism – but all for a good cause!) You’re right – it’s often hard to find a church where you can both a) be honest about your questions and rethinking processes and b) find inspiration, challenge, spiritual depth, and engagement in meaningful mission. But more and more churches are moving into this space – some from the “Mainline” side and some from the “Evangelical” side. Then there are also retreat centers (often catholic), emergent cohorts, pub theology groups, and other EFC’s (experimental faith communities) springing up.
I checked my schedule, and the next time I’ll be in Ontario (Toronto) will be 14-15 November. People can always check when I’ll be in there area on the “Schedule” section of my site.