Slippery Slopes and Sacraments

Any good debater will no doubt be familiar with the Slippery Slope fallacy. For you weirdos that actually want to get along with your fellow man and don’t spend your time tearing apart their logic like a starving lion tears a gazelle, the concept is that “If X, then necessarily Y” only works if you can prove the causality. For example, I can only say “If I give my little sister this shirt for her birthday, she’ll wear it when summer arrives” if I can back it up. Now, that’s a pretty obvious example; as long as I know my sister’s taste in clothing, there’s a pretty good chance I’m correct. But what if I said “If I give my little sister this shirt for her birthday, she will immediately murder us all, burn down the house, and flee to Oklahoma?” There’d better be a lot of research backing that one, or I’m using the Slippery Slope- especially if I’m ultimately arguing that I shouldn’t buy the shirt in the first place.

So, why am I bringing this up? I assure you, it’s not just for the logic lesson. If I’m being honest (which I am, I mean, this is my blog, why wouldn’t I be telling the truth), it’s because I ended up on a Slippery Slope and I don’t know where it’s headed.

Yeah, it’s not really related to debate at all; whatever part of my brain analyzes life events does a really bad job with metaphor.

Anyway, context: I started college! Yay, me! I’m a quasi-adult, and I’m hemidemisemi-successful at it! The catch is, I’m running into a lot of people who aren’t from my doctrinal background.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is great. I’m lucky enough to be at a school where the majority of the student body is some form of Christian, so this is more me struggling with dialogue within the church than me trying to survive attacks from without, but the circles I run in tend to criticize mainline Protestantism pretty heavily.

Again, let me be clear: this is necessary, and important, and I’m not trying to blame my friends for calling out error. But the fact remains that their arguments worked, and now I can’t unsee all the issues when I go home and visit the church the rest of my family goes to. But none of my friends have managed to convert me to their various denominations either, so I’m sort of stuck between a hymnal and a Hillsong album because I’ve somehow landed on a blend of theological perspectives that manages to annoy everyone.

And it’s hard. It’s hard being in the hallway of Christianity because you thought you wanted to move rooms. It’s hard having to decide what church you’re going to every week when you know at least one of your friends- the people that you call your family, the people that you would die for, the people that you love with all the love you can carry in your feeble awkward clumsy heart- will be disappointed in your decision. It’s hard to be involved when you don’t even have a church you regularly attend. It’s hard being spiritually homeless.

I just… I just don’t want to make a bad decision. I know that if worst comes to worst, I can always re-convert, but I know that once I pick a denomination here, I’m going to be fiercely loyal to it, because moderation is a skill I have yet to learn (and it may not even be valuable in this context). Honestly, barring divine intervention, apostasy, inter-denominational marriage, or madness, it’ll probably be the tradition I spend the rest of my life in, so I really don’t think I’m all that at fault for being absolutely terrified of making a call.

But I still feel like a coward.

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