I just had one of those interactions on social media (not Twitter) that just reminded me of why I left the ministry and still haven’t found a church to hang out in on Sundays. I miss it sometimes, but then I have moments like this where I’m reminded of why I’m no longer there. It just got to the point where constantly having to defend my moderately liberal theology and research interests just felt meaningless. So I tapped out, because it’s easier to walk from a job than your race and ethnicity.
Let’s be honest, for some folks I could trot out all the Greek/Hebrew/history that shapes my theology and I’ll still be wrong to them. Why? Because I’m a Native American woman. There are so few NA Christians and being a Christian in NA circles is so controversial,I just kept getting emotionally exhausted. And I realized that my one little voice really doesn’t matter in those arenas. Plus most of those folks come from securely middle class backgrounds, and I don’t.
Once I started coming to grips with the deep poverty I and my family endured, fighting over beliefs just began to feel meaningless. At least with language revitalization and education I can make a positive contribution beyond my own small circle to the wider indigenous community.
I still consider myself a Christian and there’s lots of things about the faith that I find beautiful. Especially when it comes to some of the traditions and practices. But I’m not sure I want to participate in American Christianity with it’s toxic culture war. And that just left me deeply sad. (The PMS isn’t helping either)
Feel free to share tales of your identity crises, leaving jobs or careers. Or even leaving or changing your faith or religion. Let’s not give solutions, but instead let’s commiserate and encourage one another. I’m not interested in changing points of view, I’m interested in hearing your story in order to distract myself from mine. :’(