Corbin Croy

Corbin Croy


corbin_croyCorbin Croy was born in Spokane and grew up in Post Falls. In 1998 he got married at the age of 18 and moved to Coeur d’Alene. Together they have four children, and try to live as simply and honestly as possible.

His faith journey has been mixed and choppy. He grew up in a secular home and  had no real religious influence from his family. He was sent to a Christian school, because his family did not want him growing up in an environment of youthful peer pressure to do wrong things. Croy got saved at the age of 13, which he considers to be a pretty important decision for his life. He says he was very zealous as a youth. He read his Bible everyday and read it it cover to cover. He was born again into a charismatic fundamentalist church and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, was slain in the Spirit, and even received Holy Laughter. He was what you would call an “on fire” Christian. When he became an adult, he believed God would open doors for him to go into ministry. He had felt God’s call on his life and devoted himself to volunteering at youth groups and serving in ministry at church until something would eventually open up for him.

The politics and burn out of Church eventually got to him, though. Several key people in leadership fell from my esteem and Croy received some fair beatings from what he thought were good, honest Christians. He had also suffered a personal tragedy when his mom committed suicide, which caused him to reframe the effects that his beliefs had on him. He started to become jaded with Christianity and see all the personal and preservation mechanisms in play at the local church level that was reinforced through a spiritual façade. He had in a sense looked behind the curtain and saw all the machines and the man controlling the Wizard of Oz.

By his mid-twenties he became an atheist, and for a few years I was angry and frustrated. In his abandonment of faith, he took upon myself the task of learning. He read and read and read about as much philosophy as he could get his hands on. The philosophy of Ayn Rand became particularly influential for him during this time. Her books often appeal to naïve intellectuals who are getting their feet wet in the waters of philosophy. Croy eventually grew past it, but he confesses that his exposure to Objectivism was a good one, when you remove it from all its cult-like beliefs and practices.

His rejection of faith did cause strain on his family life, and he did not want to be a negative influence on his wife or family, even if he believed that Christianity was a harmful religion. As the gap between them grew he decided to respond in good faith to meet with a pastor with his wife to discuss the problems he had with Christianity and why he had become an atheist. He did this primarily to reach out to his wife and show her how he was acting in good conscience.

He cannot say what exactly brought him back around. The pastor did a piss poor job of speaking and relating to him, he said.. The apologetics Croy was being exposed to did nothing to really convince him, and the Christians around him were still being jerks and dill weeds. But exposing hims the way he did made him realize that despite all the negativity he knew from Christianity he still really liked having faith.

Croy did not want the atheist world to exist, a world closed in and shut off. He did not know if he could be a theist, but he knew at that moment that I could no longer be an atheist. He dug in and took a different approach and found kindred spirits in books and various theologians. He found GK Chersterton, who helped him understand the virtue of religious faith. He found Paul Tillich who helped me reframe the whole Christian experience. He found Martin Buber who helped him see God as the Eternal Thou. He found Edward Schillebeeckx who helped him see his Jesus experience as something profound and meaningful. He found John Shelby Spong who helped him understand the resurrection as a spiritual reality for new life.

Through this, period of study and searching, he also received a college degree in theology with a minor in philosophy. Currently, he says he is in a strange place.

“I feel that I have finally arrived at a place where God can use me, but that the path I have taken to get here has separated me from most of those I would look to as brothers and sisters of faith. My sympathies clearly lie with Progressive Christianity, but as with most progressives I am sure that not one single label really fits what my experience says of what my faith means to me. How could I possibly separate Paul Tillich from Thomas Aquinas? In my mind they are two conversations about the same thing. So I am most comfortable with the appellation of being a progressive Christian, because that is the only title I could find that somewhat implies that I am a Christian in progress. I am here, but yet in another sense, I am still to arrive.”

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