The Pastor of Phoenix Community Church in Kalamazoo says he was taught that God was loving, but also was going to send non-believers to hell. Ken Arthur says that thinking caused to leave the church for a while.
Arthur, who is the author of Out of the Ashes: Constructive Theology for Those Burned out on Christianity, says “I found a church where I could ask questions.” He says Phoenix Community Church was the perfect place for him, because it created by people who were burned out of being rejected by other churches. Arthur says coming out as gay was part of the reason, he found the church which welcomes people who are LGBT.
Arthur says he wrote the book for people who see hypocrisy and teaching that they don’t understand. He says some in Christianity present God as “Santa Claus for adults” – if you are good, you get rewarded. Arthur says others present a God who is “like me.”
Surveys have shown a growing number of atheists and agnostics in the United States, especially among younger people. But Arthur says human beings hunger for spirituality. Religion is one way to express that. Arthur says while people may be burned out, they need opportunities to explore religion.
In his book, Arthur says worship has to be beyond an hour a week. He says going to church should be viewed as practice for how we live in the world. Arthur compares to exercise. He says church is going to a “spiritual gym” to be “spiritually healthy.”