Pastor David Hayward has a friend who is still a Christian, but she doesn’t want to go to church anymore.
And it’s not because she’s suddenly an atheist.
Why she doesn’t go to church anymore? Because her intelligence, deep thinking and independence are not respected. I don’t mean her feelings are hurt because people don’t applaud these things about her, but because they are simply not respected. Therefore she is not respected.
Here’s what she intuits when she walks into the church: hostility to diversity of thought; pressure to conform her beliefs to the norm; the most immature thinking rules the roost; she can spectate but not participate; anxious adherence to eroded ideas and the fear of questioning them; cold hard adherence to expectations; lovelessness.
Those are qualities that most atheists I know strongly value.
(To David’s friend: Come to the dark side! We respect you!)
Hell, unlike some churches, we encourage her to voice her opinions and challenge us, instead of letting a man speak on her behalf.