As the people of Christ we are called to faith, not fear, and we are called to sacrificial love, not self-preservation. As Henri Nouwen wrote, “Fear engenders fear. It never gives birth to love.” Surely there is a third path that follows in the steps of Jesus; I will call it The Naaman Option.
The are called by different names. David Kinnaman calls them nomads, prodigals, or exiles, depending on their particular flavor. Josh Packard calls them church refugees. Other researchers speak of the de-churched. What they share is a disillusionment with the popular, institutional forms of Christianity. They feel unrepresented by those speaking in Christ’s name in the media, and they carry distrust toward many of the organizations that claim to advance his mission. Not all of the disillusioned have abandoned Christian faith, although that is also happening, but they are searching for a place to belong.