Are you watching the erosion of your faith?

"The Erosion of Faith" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“The Erosion of Faith” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

This cartoon emerges out of my own experience and perspective.

My faith, or the feeling of my beliefs, is something I built. Some might argue I inherited or it was gifted to me. Nevertheless, I took what I was given and made something of it. My faith.

Then, I started to watch it erode. Just like a sandcastle in the tide. It started a long time ago in seminary.You can read all about my journey in my book Questions are the Answer. I fought against it for a long time. But then I realized it was hopeless to resist it. I refused to revert back to simpler times because I did want to evolve. And I did. And I am. I just watch it happen. Although I’m intentionally involved. I’ve gradually come to the point where I no longer use the words “faith” or “belief” to describe my inner life.

The terror I experienced when this first started, and then when it climaxed at its highest intensity, was very real. I understand what you’re going through. It is absolutely terrifying. But I want to assure you that you can make it. Like I’ve said before, I have peace of mind now… something I sought for decades and which eluded me but is now mine.  Grief is real, and it is necessary to process this. But I am certain we can move on to a peaceful acceptance. I know I have!

If you need a safe place to do this along with others who understand and listen well, check out The Lasting Supper!


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4 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    I have asked you before: All religions, fundamentalists to liberals, proclaim: “When we understand truth or know God/Allah/Krishna/Buddha-Mind then we will feel peace.” But is “peace” something we should really trust? It is only one of many things to trust, because as is obvious, self-deception can bring great peace.

    So you went through continual hard times and then found peace — but the peace is not measure of truth, it is just a measure of your inner happiness. Which I think is fine, of course, but no need to use the old Christian standard of “peace in my heart” for a measure of truth. You probably aren’t doing that, but you get my point. For one may never find peace but could still be doing the right thing. Not everyone is lucky in their circumstances to feel peace. Life is too complicated to make it a trustworthy measure of right action and right thought, IMHO.

    That said, I totally agree, as you know with “belief” and “faith” being deceptive. BTW I did a post here about the seven most common conflicting or overlapping uses of the word “faith”. In your paragraphs about you used #4 “my-dearly-held-beliefs-faith” and #5 “a-religion-faith”. Brigitte in the last post used it in the sense of 2. ” hope-faith”. Atheists often use #3 “counter-evidence-faith”. And all of us then talk past each other with #7 The word itself.

    As Socrates said: “Η έναρξη της Σοφίας είναι ο καθορισμός των εκφράσεων ”
    (“The beginning of wisdom, is the definition of terms”)

  2. Yes I see. My point is that after literally decades of intense mental/intellectual/theological angst, a very real, tangible peace of mind settled in. Actually, it followed a dream I had (of the waterfalls if you remember). BUT… I also know the mind is incredibly clever and tricky. So I am also unpacking all that this experience could mean.

    I know people who’ve dropped acid or done some other kind of thing where the immediate effect was a certain feeling or insight. It was very real to them and still is. With lasting effects.

    But we can ask, “Is this real? Authentic? Or chemical? Or what?” At which point most people don’t care. The result is what matters.

    But again, I do see the necessity of moving beyond this, to continually evolve, and unpack what is yet another experience.

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    Yep. I agree. I am not sure we “evolve” though. We change, we flux — we drop old deceptions, pick up new ones, stop old habits, pick up new ones. The “evolving spirituality” thing of New Age folks is a comfort blanket that even Linus would be jealous of. (Peanuts cartoons).

    But I get your point. I am just adding those caveats you spoke of in your last post’s comments where you wondered out loud of why people comment.

    So “peace”, “we are all one”, “spiritual evolution” and such are often found together is a certain kind of packages, don’t you agree? Whether it is yours or not. Do you get my drift? Ah, the various ways we comfort ourselves. But I agree, we all want comfort. Me too.

  4. Jordan says:

    Erosion can be a harsh term for some – but it’s a necessary act. Eventually, faith will crumble, but from it comes something new.