Wednesday, January 07, 2015

NPR's take on faith and David Peters

I listened to NPR’s Story of the Day podcast this morning on my drive to work. It described an former Army Chaplain David Peters test of faith. It was a fascinating story, and one I’ve heard many times before. I’d like to sit down and talk to him one day.
"The church was asking me to confess my sins, when I felt like God had done far worse things than I've ever done," he says. Like "standing by and not really doing much for the world that's full of war and conflict and despair, loss. 
"I looked at my own life and I felt that way. I'd just gotten divorced. I was just really angry at God for disappearing on me when I needed him most."
This is a common story I hear from former Christians who have lost their faith. Where is God? Why is he hiding? It resonated with me. Where is God in this mess of a world? Anyone?

What bothers me is that his original church, a fundamentalist Bible Fellowship Church, would not allow for a divorced pastor. Peters had to leave the church. They had endorsed him for service as a Army chaplain, but when he returned damaged by the experience and in need of love, his religion, in the form of his church, abandoned him. That’s when you know faith is screwed up. Believers acting in accord with doctrine, it damages so many people.

David Peters wrote a book: Death Letter. I plan to read it.