You would think the church would not be an easy thing to kill. It was born at an execution and has weathered two thousand years of oppression and persecution. There is not an external force on earth that can kill the church, but it is easily poisoned from the inside. All it takes is for Christians to grow more concerned with our reputation, than our integrity.
I am a pastor who is a progressive. So far, I remain in the church. Often, I examine that commitment. Is it out of hopefulness or stubbornness…or a fragile grip on sanity? I think part of it is that I simply do not want to place myself outside of the church and surrender the possibility of being an alternative voice in the midst of those who remain in the church and who still seek, search, and remain open. It seems to mean something…a progressive voice within the community of the church engaging alternative ways to relate to faith and scripture. I am grateful for the inspiration provided by your sermons, which I read or hear on your website, and your blog. Once in a while quote you. I hope it does not hurt your pride that when I do quote you, people here in Georgia tend to ask, “Who is Jim Rigby?” I wonder, in times of my own discouragement, how you keep going. Now, reading your advice column, I see part of your secret. You have a sense of humor! It is good to be reminded of the importance of that.