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The Porcupine Syndrome

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Churches tend to act like porcupines on a freezing winter night. “The cold drives us closer together in a tight huddle to keep warm. As we begin to snuggle really close, our sharp quills cause us to jab and prick each other—a condition which forces us apart.” (Source: Truth Matters) We call this “The Porcupine Syndrome.” Sadly, there are times that we get hurt instead of getting healed in the church. Instead of picking each other up, we pick on one another. Instead of being united, we end up divided. 


Pastor Chuck Swindoll wrote, “How can we break ye old porcupine syndrome? The answer in one word is involvement. Or, to use the biblical term, it is fellowship.” (Ibid) But in order to make sure we become a healing community, we have to keep in mind the basis for our fellowship. In his “Disillusionment With the Church,” Pastor Kevin DeYoung wrote, “We are disappointed and critical of our brothers and sisters in Christ, because they are not giving us what we want or what we think we need. …

“I am my own God.” (Part 2)

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“An unfair generalization.”
That’s the comment of an atheist when I posted Part 1 of my “I am my own God” article on Facebook. He also said, “Can’t we just say that it’s the result of an intellectual inquiry?”

 To be fair, the controversial “deconversion” story of Joanne Abigail Dela Cruz on Rappler was her personal experience. It does not speak for the experience of all atheists. Yes, there may be people who became skeptics because the questions they have about their religion went unanswered or the answers they got were not satisfying to them. But their “journey” does not also speak for others also. To say that all those who turned away from God did so because of honest inquiry is also an unfair generalization. 

Interestingly, in her “Science vs. Religion – What Scientists Really Think,” Rice University sociologist Dr. Elaine Ecklund noted that, in her research, “some scientists do not believe because of their scientific studies” (Source: The Confident Christian). However, she also adde…

“I am my own God.”

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With those words, Joanne Abigail Dela Cruz, a once devout Catholic, came out of her “proverbial closet” and declared her “long-overdue apostasy” (Source: Rappler). It started when she went to college where “three years of living independently exposed [her] to a variety of novel experiences. [Her] daring was fueled by the thrill of having no authority figure to check and reprimand [her.]” 



Then, she claimed she faced a crisis of belief. She felt hypocritical. “I crossed enough of my own lines to incite an internal struggle. I had no quiet in my thoughts as my behavior grew inconsistent with my religious beliefs and vice versa.” So, she started doubting her faith. she labeled it her futile “resistance to the truth.” After searching, she turned. Not towards God but away from Him. “Stimulating philosophy classes finally instigated an enlightened self-examination and introspection became a habit. Inevitably, my beliefs and perceptions in life changed.” 



Though I don’t doubt the sincerity of …