The crazy restaurant experience where nothing turned out quite the way it was supposed to was obviously a tongue-in-cheek attempt to find a parallel experience for what happens every day, every week all across the globe. For me this was a fairly apt metaphor for the church experience.
All of us have been to the restaurant from hell. The one all our friends recommended that turned out to be a disaster. You wonder why anyone would go there. Deciding that anyone can have an “off night” you even give it another try only to find the same thing happens again. Maybe it’s just you. The place is packed and everyone else seems to be oblivious the the chaos.
The answers to the question, “what would you do?” were pretty interesting. They, too, parallel the the reaction of people who become disenchanted with the Inerrantist Conservative Evangelical Fundamentalist Literalism.
Michael Mock’s response was to just go down the road to a different restaurant which most likely served up completely different fare. As some disenchanted Christians do when they’ve become disillusioned they go down the street and find a church more to their personal taste, more palatable and continue to have faith.
The Wise Fool’s response was to become skeptical of all restaurants. Keeping an open mind and exploring all the possibilities, but with a critical eye. This is the route some disenchanted Christians choose. They want to learn all they can about different religions and different denominations within Christianity. They’ve become skeptical so maybe they adopt one of those possibilities but maybe they don’t. They need some rational reason and some concrete evidence to believe something.
Zoe said, “I’d start to wonder why I didn’t get up and leave in the first place. Why was I willing to put up with a “lie” and try and minimize the “lie” and make it not such a big deal.” And Lydia agreed. This is where many disenchanted Christians end up. They doubt, they question, they research, and try to find answers. When the answers turn up empty they wonder why on earth they waited so long to ask the questions. Why did they make excuses? Why did they try to bury their doubts?
Except for our faith we expect truth in advertising. We would have long gotten up and left the table at any other establishment that operated the way that faith does. All of this begs the question why do so many of us continue to belly up to the table week after week, make excuses for the manager, and minimize the discrepancies and inconsistencies? Why do we put up with the lie? Why did it take so long to ask the questions?
H/T: Zoe for the creative new fundie name