I’m taking a break from the Ship of Fools, a website I’ve visited almost every day for about the past four years. Why? The short answer is that I don’t get much positive from it except to kill time, which isn’t that positive, especially when a lot of the time ‘killed’ is time I should be working – and I’ve started to feel like there’s a downside. Lately I’ve come away feeling slightly sad, vaguely upset and a little bit weary.
Before I delve into the long answer let me talk about what’s good about the Ship. The best thing about the Ship is that you can question any part of Christianity and be taken seriously. There are almost no taboos. If all you want from a forum is good rigorous debate then it’s hard to beat. Also it was the place I met M. It was the place that provided me with something of a sense of connection with others when I didn’t have that in real life.
However lately I’ve been noticing that I don’t get much out of it any more. I don’t think I ever felt the sense of community some do (I’ve had about a dozen PMs in those 4 years) and the little I did has gone. The very diversity of thought that is its strength has made the Ship a difficult place for someone, me, who doesn’t quite know what he believes. I fully accept that that’s my problem but I need to focus a little, maybe look at the conflicting traditions one by one. Establish a core of what I think and believe.
The biggest problem though is the attitudes of some of the posters (please note I said ‘some’). There’s a continual stream of low-level digs at Evangelicalism, and occasionally Charismaticism. It’s not unique to those groups but those are the ones I tend to notice, and feel more. I can sort of shrug it off, no big deal, but it makes me just a little tired, sad and angry. Since I don’t want to be feeling that I’m not reading the Ship for a while.