Thursday, May 5, 2011


I'll do my best to avoid the clichés about starting a new blog. This is my third run at it, so I've already trod that path. (Please don't ask to see the other two failures. They aren't worth seeing.)

The aim of this blog—whether or not anyone actually reads it—is to chronicle a major change taking place in my life. That is, I've been an Evangelical my entire life, and am even in training to become a minster; but I now find myself as something other than an Evangelical, and even something other than Christian.

To a lot of people, this isn't that big of a deal. A number of people I've talked to informally, who live outside the bubble of Christianity, have asked me frankly, "So, what's the problem? What's changed?" For them, the answer is, "Nothing": I'm still the same person, with the same convictions about love, justice, freedom, ethics, etc. I just don't go to church anymore. Yes, I won't be a minister, but there are other, more important jobs to be done.

Other people—including my family, as well as many of my friends, mentors, and teachers—these people would see my departure from the church as a tragedy of the highest order. For many of them, I've punched my ticket to hell. Some of them, I'm quite sure, will never talk to me again when they find out.

If you still don't get it, let me offer an analogy: for my family especially—people whose entire lives are bound up in Christianity and the church—my admission of leaving the church is like me coming out of the closet. When I tell them (and I hope to do so in the next few weeks), they'll be shocked, and they'll surely say things like, "We still love you," and "You're still our son." There will probably be a time where they rarely talk to me, and I'm prepared for that (I think). It won't be easy, but it has to be done.

So, that brings me to the title of the blog (and yes, this is a first-blog cliché). "Ellipsis" is primarily a writing term, an omission of words or time, something that implies more than is said. For example, "O say, can you see..."; the ellipsis at the end points forward to the rest of the "Star Spangled Banner," the US national anthem. But the notion of "ellipsis" helps me think about this place in my life. There is something more going on than I can really say, and it seems like an in-between time that can't quite be expressed. Then again, I am trying to blog about it, so the whole experiment is like trying to explain what ambivalence feels like.

As with every other blog I've started, I'm at least a little optimistic that I will do more than three blogs before I forget about it. Something tells me that the urge to express what I'm going through will help motivate me to write.

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