openly apostate church goer?
Just shy of a year ago I stopped attending church. I no longer believed what the church taught and had gotten to the point where sitting through three hours of it was both numbing and excruciating. But I think it’s time to start attending again. Not because my beliefs have changed, but because Sunday has become such a fragmented disjointed day for our family. Something has got to change and I have decided that I will be that something. So a couple Sundays a month I will attend with my husband and child. I will bring books to read and my journal to write in (a friend suggested an iPod, but that’s too obvious for my taste) to help get me through talks and lessons that would otherwise send me over the edge. Also, I think that perhaps I have had enough time and distance that there will not be the same painful cognitive dissonance that I used to experience; maybe I’m in a place now where I can be more generous about the things I disagree with and more open to catching the gems that do resonate. We shall see.
But my question to you has to do with my desire to be honest and open about who I am. Part of the discomfort from before had to do with the double life, the need to hide so much of my thoughts and experience. I’m done with that. But when I think about how that will actually LOOK, me being more open, I have a hard time imagining the line between honesty and disrespect. I don’t want to cross that line, I dislike making people feel uncomfortable.
Here’s me: I’m pretty agnostic with existential leanings, view the scriptures as man-made metaphors, don’t see much difference between the LDS church and other churches out there (i.e. no one true church with exclusive priesthood authority led by a prophet of God etc.). I don’t believe in necessary ordinances, don’t wear garments, don’t live the word of wisdom, etc. etc. etc.
Basically, I am rubbed the wrong way by most of what the church says (though I do believe in food storage).
So… I will just sit in the back and keep my mouth shut and read my book? (Unless talking about food storage?)
Those of you in my position, how do you walk that line?
And those of you who are believers, what are your thoughts about the participation of someone who just doesn’t believe in the church?