"I see so many dear friends or pastors’ kids who used to be Christian, or used to be Adventist or used to be whatever. The pain they express by dropping a spiritual walk is legitimate. But the reasons they have left a walk of faith are so often little more than an excuse. People representing the God of love in unloving ways, or the perceived hypocrisy in church leadership, gives my friends an excuse to be angry. It gives them an excuse to rationalize away those who could be our greatest supporters—the ones who we wish would cheer us on, pray with us, and love us.
I’ve gotten so angry at times because I wonder if leadership understands what their political tactics communicate. My heart has often cried in anguish for the losses I partly lay at their door. I then fight to balance my outsider’s perspective with the immense weight they are challenged to bear behind the grueling desks of their holy offices. Even so, for each follower of God, right choices are still wrong choices when they are not also loving choices.
Our world is hurting. Hurt people, hurt people. It seems we all have grasped at life’s straws, clinging to something to be passionate about. We want to feel like we have a say—to feel powerful. Most of my friends who have since left their spiritual walks—friends I love every bit as much as ever—probably would have still left. But what if it made a difference for 1 in 10? How about 1 in 30? What if we chose to check our words, inactions and biases at the door? What if we chose to be aware through the Spirit and attend church—praying to be less reactive through fear of what others think and instead, more responsive in love for your eggshell-heart’s needs? If it made a difference for 1 in 50 of my friends, would it still be well worth my heart’s effort?
Leaving is not the answer. Those of us who see it and are repulsed must stay and participate if we’re ever to dilute parts of a reactively-woven culture that so infuriates, insults, and saddens our hearts. Through it all, I have every reason in the world to be gone. But somehow, I remain."
Kortnye is a model, TV host and #LymeFIGHTER.