2007-07-24 13:36:38.0 religionchat33: What do you think of the small, house groups that are springing up all over? Will they eliminate the problems you saw in the church? Would you consider joining such a group? Sorry about asking a triple-barreled question.
2007-07-24 13:38:31.0 Bill Lobdell: I think the movement is the future of the church. The younger generation really insists on a real faith and not something contained in buildings. Though it has some drawbacks, I think it would eliminate some of the problems inherent in an unchecked power structure. And no, not now.
2007-07-24 13:38:35.0 jason: Can you discuss the difference between losing your faith in the church and losing your faith in god?
2007-07-24 13:40:06.0 Bill Lobdell: That's a really hard question. My faith in church definitely left first. My faith in God -- someone who watches over us, cares about us, intervenes for us -- is pretty much gone, but still lingers.
2007-07-24 13:40:12.0 jason: You said atheists gave you crap about the phrase "gift of faith." How have believers reacted to the idea that they only believe because God gave them that gift?
2007-07-24 13:40:58.0 Bill Lobdell: Sorry, Jason, I don't understand the question.
2007-07-24 13:41:10.0 assr25: Are you still searching for truth and if so what questions do you want answered?
2007-07-24 13:42:29.0 Bill Lobdell: I am still searching for truth. I have an open-mind. It's not like a list of test questions I need answered. For me, it's about belief, a feeling, and I'm not sure exactly what goes into creating that belief for or against God.
2007-07-24 13:42:35.0 gabriela peterson: Have you received any comments from any church leaders? Especially from the TBN crowd? What would bring your faith back? I had a deep faith and trust in God and my church, and I lost them...completely.
2007-07-24 13:45:18.0 Bill Lobdell: I've had an amazing outpouring of responses from vatican priests, parish priests, pastors, rabbis, Christian authors, etc. Hundreds. The vast majority simply said my story touched them, they appreciated my honesty, they had experienced some of the same problems, and they hope my spiritual journey wasn't over. In my experience, the Trinity Broadcasting Network crowd doesn't veer too far away from TBN. I doubt they saw the story.
2007-07-24 13:45:29.0 Grace VanNortwick: Will "losing your faith" affect your philosophy on purpose in life and the "hereafter" so to speak?
2007-07-24 13:47:38.0 Bill Lobdell: I think I'm the same person I was before. I try to be moral, volunteer, etc. That hasn't change. The question of hell certainly gets my attention. I think now that when I die, it's much like before I was born. I just won't exist. That said, if there is a heaven, I'm guessing and hoping that a loving God will understand my screw-up.
2007-07-24 13:47:43.0 religionchat33: A Good Book that might help with some questions is " The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Armand M. Nicholi Jr. " It is a really thoughtful account that grapples with some of the same issues you have...and I have as well but come away as a strong believer.
2007-07-24 13:48:21.0 gabriela peterson: I would like to thank Mr. Lobdell for his fascinating article.
2007-07-24 13:48:27.0 Bill Lobdell: I'll check it out. I think I read excerpts in it in Christianity Today a while back.
2007-07-24 13:48:32.0 Bill S: A shaken faith is still faith. Or have you arrived at Mr. Dawkins' conclusion that faith and belief are forms of ignorance?
2007-07-24 13:49:31.0 Bill Lobdell: I don't think faith and belief are forms on ignorance. I'm the one who could be wrong. But my faith is gone.
2007-07-24 13:50:14.0 Julie Sly: After your years of covering the clergy sex abuse scandal, do you think anything at this point can restore the credibility of church leaders?
2007-07-24 13:53:08.0 Peggy Normandin: Bill, frankly, having read our article and listened to your respones, I have to say that you sound like a modern American man having a mid life crisis. And in this country in your profession, that gets ink. Commit to something, man. And stop whining.