Posts tagged ‘theology’
I applaud many Christians on something that self-proclaimed “freethinkers” often overlook about certain religionists: the quality of their skepticism. I laud the way that a Christian can systematically dismantle their religious rivals, yet at the same time I praise those same rivals in their endeavours to knock down the Christian religion. Christians, as well as other religious adherents, definitely have a healthy dose of skepticism, defined as someone “inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions” (OED).
Many Christians doubt not only evolutionary theory, but also the actual physical evidences for it (certainly a radical skepticism indeed!). Christians, by necessity, doubt not only Hinduism, but also its philosophically astute and more universal descendant, Buddhism. If they can doubt such a sophisticated and ancient religion such as Buddhism, then certainly New Religious Movements, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Latter Day Saints, that call themselves “Christian” are certainly no match for those of “sound theology”. Furthermore, scores of Christians doubt that morality apart from God is not only improbable, but completely impossible. And almost every Christian doubts that the universe can be explained without a divine presence. I celebrate such skepticism!…
This post is somewhat of an indirect response, or possibly a reaction, to Mike Clawson’s “I might have become an atheist” post, in which he narrates how his doubts at Bible college almost led him to disbelief, but found a theological home with the emerging Christian movement. I briefly responded (#4) to his post with some concerns, albeit I admit my questions were unfairly rhetorical. I would like to take this opportunity to share my own experience with the movement, since I do have a similar theological background as Mike appears to have had and to state why I could not, with being honest to myself, stay within the liberal emergent village. I do not publish this as a rebuke or even a debate, although I would be more than willing to have an open and frank conversation on the topic.
Like Mike, I too grew up as an evangelical conservative Christian, although not an in-your-face preaching type, I held fundamentalist views (Young earth, Biblical inerrancy, etc.), and was politically conservative. I had reservations about the hawks among my party (Reform/Canadian Alliance at that time), but I was both economically and socially conservative. However, in my second year of Bible college, I thoroughly studied the Sermon on the Mount which led to a political paradigm shift – away from conservatism and into a radical liberalism. Although I was still theologically conservative, my political shift forced me to take a look at my overall intellectual composition. It was at this time I came across an instructor at my conservative Bible college that I thought was completely heretical…
I have recently posted a blog about how I have personal reasons to believe in a God, which goes in well with how comforting superstitions can be when it comes to finding easy answers. I’m going to touch on a list of reasons why I don’t believe in Jesus Christ as redeemer, the risen one, alpha and omega, and so on.
1. The Trinity doesn’t make sense
You may find evidence for a Trinity in the Bible, but it’s not clear and wasn’t so until the Nicene Creed was established. The word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible, neither is a single verse in the Bible that says that all are of the same yet all are different. The Idea is received from several verses however, so it’s not necessarily a blind assumption. A comprehensive study of the Trinity will still lead to it not making any sense. The result was that I just had to ‘believe’ in it anyways.
2. Clashing theologies, clashing denominations
There’s always a denomination demonizing another and there’s too many churches out there saying they have the select elite going to heaven while everyone else is doomed( even though they believe in Christ). My biggest issue was this is that I could not find a theology I was at peace with – The result was I just had to ‘believe’ I had the right theology anyways. What if you’re wrong? You see Christians are still at risk for eternal damnation according to their opposing denominations. There is no sure fire way a Christian can know they’re saved without just ‘believing’ which in the end makes no sense…
I have a confession to make. I am a red-blooded, heterosexual male. Like most men, I love attractive women. I have never had what I would consider homosexual temptations, or any other attractions to the male gender. I know only a couple openly gay men, I don’t understand the lifestyle or mindset of the gay man, and I cannot conceive of how any man could be sexually attracted to any other man. I just don’t get it.
But that is not my confession.
My confession is, even when I was a Christian, I did not condemn homosexuality. Yes, I knew what the Bible said, and I remember how all my former pastors told us to ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’. I know that by and large Christians view homosexuality as major sin, and I was expected to agree with God on this issue and condemn it just as he did. But the truth of it is, I just never cared about that. I never told any of my fellow Christians at the time, but I am now telling you, the random internet surfer. As a Christian, homosexuality just never bothered me. Nope. Never did.
I looked at it like this. Jesus, when asked by a lawyer, basically summed up the entirety of the Mosaic Law into two basic, simple commands…
April 13, 2003.
Why are we born so far from home? Why is it so hard to travel on that narrow path and enter that tiny gate?… Sometimes the path is covered by so much debris that it is impossible to decipher where we are to go. I just want to see a little bit of the road. Why do my feet lead me down another path? Have I turned away the light beneath my feet? Am I looking too far ahead rather than the imminent path?… Deliver me from my own shadows… Open my eyes…
April 30, 2003.
Is it only me, God?… Why the distance? How does such a finite being come to “know” you? You know I do not like to speak in the “unreal” and the abstract… Is “knowing” you nothing but a cliche?… People say they are close to You at certain times in their lives, but do they really know what they mean by what they say? Are they not just in a heightened or, dare I say, “enlightened” state?… Are Christians just a special case in which they have certain special knowledge of what they are close to when going through a certain type of mindset? What about unbelievers?…
We’ve had several entries on this subject over the course of this blog including:
- Jesus – to be or not to be, that is the question!
- Is Jesus mentioned in the Talmud?
- Were the Gospels eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus?
However, on a recent comment, evanescent mentioned this subject and I would like highlight it (with some slight edits for flow):
There is good reason to believe there was a man at the centre of the cult that became Christianity. Actually, there was probably many men at the time. The cult that become Christianity retrospectively convoluted stories about its leader.
A fantastic set of articles exploring the historical evidence (or lack thereof) for Jesus can be found here: http://ebonmusings.org/atheism/camel.html…
Earlier this week on The Today Show, Robert Robertson, a pilot who survived a plane crash by landing his plane a few feet away from I-95 in Florida said he was no longer an agnostic. His survival was truly a miracle since his plane literally disintegrated around him and he was left sitting in his seat dazed but ok.
In cases like this, it’s easy to conclude “divine intervention.”
Psalms 91 is a beautiful Psalm talking about the God’s protection for those who “dwell in the secret place of the Most High.”
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you…