I thought it would be helpful, for me at least, to make a list of the issues I plan to explore that have led me to abandon my belief in the bible as a spiritual authority, in Christianity in general, and Evangelical Christianity in particular. Those who have left the evangelical fold often focus on a variety of issues, so my emphasis may be much different than the next person’s.
Also, I’m sure these topics will all bleed into one another, because I’m a little ADD and tend to throw everything into the pot. And I’m sure this list will evolve as topics do so, and as I think of other things I would like to address. This is just to give us a road map for our conversation. Continue reading
When did I first begin to doubt?
I’ll start off by admitting I don’t rightly know. Trying to define the point at which I turned from believer into doubter is a little like trying to pinpoint when the water in a tea kettle turns from cold to hot. On either end you know its cold and that its hot, but there is a lot of lukewarm in between.
My earliest recollection of a disturbance of doubt is from my first couple years as a Christian, probably 23-24 years ago. I was a fervent young believer then, still convinced that full-time Christian ministry lay in my future. My study of the bible was ever-deepening, and in that effort I was buying a number of extra-biblical study aids. Several of these I bought not out of any perceived need, but because they were recommended as part of a core library for any serious Christian student of the bible. Continue reading
One of the difficult parts of this process is talking it through with the friends you’ve had for decades of shared Christian experience. These are friends you met and grew with wholly in the context of Christianity. Every conversation you had, every struggle you shared, every joy you delighted in was in the name of Jesus Christ. You understood that every good thing came from above. You understood that every bad thing was a means of testing, proving, correcting; driving you closer to the all-loving God of the universe. Even if you weren’t talking about God at all, there was always that mutual understanding of a shared faith. It was a trust connection from without that didn’t exist for people outside the faith.
Now, suddenly, that particular connection is severed. Not on my part, I would like to think. To me, the connection was only ever a human one anyway. Continue reading