Losing My Religion. That was the title of a book written in 2009 with this subtitle: “How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America and Found Unexpected Peace”. It was a great read. It ended up being the atheist book of the year and certainly one of my favorites. It was well written, a fast read, thoughtful, and seemingly quite authentic.
I’d love to have the Author William Lobdell on this show sometime, but let me ruin the plot of the book so you can buy something more encouraging. After positive and apparently life-changing experiences with authentic evangelical men, Lobdell gave his life to Christ. Then after being one the key people to really explode the news stories about sex abuse replete in the Roman Catholic priesthood, he was overwhelmed by the pain of the victims and concluded, no good God would allow that. This world is out of control, quite incompatible with any notion of a Benign Deity.
I bring this up today, not to jump into the field of apologetics and refute the arguments of Lobdell which are really just another rendition of the problem of evil, but rather to remember at Church Hurts And that for many people the Hurt of Church is quite often located specifically at the intersection of clergy and congregation.
Two years ago Forbes listed Clergy and the 8th most trusted profession right beneath Judges, which I remind you are usually attorneys and right above auto mechanics. Imagine. The World Economic Forum in 2018 found that clergy weren’t even in the top ten.
Pastors, Ministers, Priests, Preachers, call them whatever you want, are key to our perceptions good and bad of church today and in our personal experiences. I think this is worth another look and to get that we have a specialist in the subject, which in and of itself makes him a scary dude. Sam helps match congregations with the right clergy to try to avoid some of what I am talking about. Sam Hamstra, welcome to Church Hurts And.