I don’t want to do this. I want to get on with my life. But I must pause first.
I need to know who I am to get on with my life. I need to decide what I think is true to determine who I am, and who I aspire to be. And I need to search to find that truth.
I was Catholic until I was 12.
One day, instead of taking me to church, my dad tells me that he’s been looking into some things, and he’s found that some of what the Catholic Church teaches doesn’t line up with what’s in the Bible. Something about what he was saying just “seemed right” to me. (More on this later.)
Shortly thereafter, we started attending an Independent Fundamental church. After a few weeks, Dad and I met with one of the deacons, who presented the gospel to me, so I prayed and got saved.
I guess I was an “excited young Christian”. I wanted to know more and grow in the faith. I asked to attend a Christian high school–and so I did, for all four years. I also studied engineering at a conservative Christian university–again, my choice.
Not too long after graduating, I became pretty frustrated with what the Christian life was for me–especially with my “overactive conscience”. So I just kind of “set my faith aside”. I regret that now.
Some events came to pass recently which forced me to face that cognitive dissonance that I had lived with for several years. I realized I don’t know who I am anymore.
I’m not content to continue as a “non-practicing Christian”. So which part will change? This time, I want to examine the basis for my faith–the rational, historical basis–in an attempt to find what’s true.
I did some research on a series of questions regarding spiritual things, and some of the big questions of life. I thought I finally had it whittled down to the core issue of my fork in the road with the question, “is the (Christian) Bible the Word of God?”…but a little research showed that can mean many different things. (See biblical inerrancy and infallibility.)
So I whittled it down further: did the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth really happen? Historically. Since this is the crux of the Christian faith (I Cor. 15:12-19), it seems like it’s really the core question to ask. (Please put any discussion of the specifics in comments to my next post.)
Why I’m Here
So why blog about it? Because I want help.
I figure if the Christian faith is based on rational premises, then it ought to be able to stand up to scrutiny. And if it isn’t, then I want to know, and adjust accordingly. (In other words, what my dad was saying about the Bible and the Church–I don’t want to believe it just because it “seems right” to me.)
I’ve found some blogs of a few “deconverts”, and I’m hoping that a few of you will be so kind as to follow my blog, and provide some input in the comments. I’m especially interested in those of you who have done research into the rational and historical basis for Christianity.
I also hope to get some well-researched, still-Christian followers. I haven’t found as many blogs of this type. If you know some, please comment with links.
Let me admit, I’m kind of biased both ways.
I want the resurrection (Christianity, the Bible, etc.) to be true, so I can have the hope of eternal life. I also miss the community of believers, and the deep personal connections that sometimes came with that.
I want it to be false because it seemed to me that Jesus’ yoke was not easy, and his burden was not light for me (Matt. 11:30). It’s possible that I was doing it wrong–that I was a Pharisee–that I never really understood grace–etc… I experienced a lot of guilt over things that didn’t even seem to bother other Christians. So much conviction, so many things I felt I had to give up. IOW, all the reasons I set my faith aside to begin with.
If it really is the truth, then god I hope it was me doing it wrong.
If I come to think it’s false, then I feel like I’d appreciate this life more–but that new big unknown about what (if anything) comes next–replacing the hope of eternal life–that would be a big loss.
Also, it’d be great to be rid of that whole us/them dichotomy. It seems it would be easier to love people and do good to them in this life, without having the (perhaps not-so) hidden agenda of converting them, for their eternal good. Of course, those could be more instances of me “doing it wrong”.
If you think you might be interested in following along with my journey–especially if you think you may have something to contribute–feel free to follow the blog, and/or leave a comment.