This blog post has been a long time coming. I have an admission, a declaration to make, which has changed my life forever.
I am no longer a Christian.
Just typing those words stirs up a maelstrom of emotions. It is so difficult for me to write this. But I need to sort this out in my own mind, if not for the friends who care about me. For those of you who may be reading this in shock and disbelief, I’m sorry. I hope I will be able to justify my decision. Please don’t judge me for it, or try to talk me out of it, no matter how much you feel you need to. I’ve already made it.
For those of you who may be reading this with a ‘told you so’ smirk, don’t assume that I’ve turned into a Christian-bashing atheist overnight. Not to say that all atheists bash Christians. But a lot of them do. I am not that either.
The proceeds of one very long and fulfilling day in the land of the Prince Bishops.
You know, this week I was looking at the news web sites and discovered something which made my blood boil.
It was this; reports that 90 year old acting legend Mickey Rooney has been granted a temporary(?) restraining order against his step-son Christopher Alber, who’s mother is Rooney’s wife of 33 years, Jan (nee Chamberlin). 54 year old Alber has allegedly been “withholding food and medicine and interfering with his finances” and even, I quote;
“Mr. Alber is verbally abusive. He yells and screams at Mickey. Mickey is effectively a prisoner in his own home.”
A similar report from the New York Daily News added that,
“He threatens, intimidates, bullies and harasses Mickey. Mickey is extremely fearful that Chris will become physically threatening against Mickey and may even attempt to kidnap Mickey from his home.”
It’s also alleged that Aber confiscated Rooney’s passport and other identification cards. It’s difficult to surmise the whys and wherefores of this… but it makes my blood boil nonetheless.
Today is a pretty important day for the north-east of England; today, our bid for UNESCO World Heritage Status was finalised and sent to London.
The bid covers the twin monasteries of St. Peter’s in Monkwearmouth and St. Paul’s in Jarrow, both founded in the 7th century. If the bid is eventually successful then the twin sites will be on a par with such places of historical importance as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Forbidden City in China and Egypt’s pyramids.
Picture the scene. It’s the week before Christmas and today is bitterly cold. Even though it’s not yet evening, darkness has well and truly fallen. If you braved the wintry weather tonight, you would soon see the stone walls of a church by the sea. Warm lights shine out invitingly from the windows and make patterns of the churchyard trees on the new-fallen snow.
Then, suddenly, the lights go out. If you went inside right now, you would see people of all ages lining the walls of the church, each holding an orange with a lit candle. The tiny lights show little else but the face of each bearer. And they all begin to sing.
Hands up – coming clean – I am a Christian. The chances are, you wouldn’t know this about me unless you really know me. I have never been the type to stand on a soapbox to proclaim my beliefs for all to see. I don’t even share them with other Christians (unless asked) because in my 26 years of being a follower of Christ I have encountered more hate, rejection and derision inside a church than out of it.
That being said, I am still a Christian. I call myself an unconventional one, and this is why.