For many years I believed that at some point in the near future, Christians would spontaneously disappear in a worldwide “rapture” event and be taken to heaven... This is but one example of what I call my "miseducation" in the church during the first 30 years of my life. I share nine more beliefs that I had to unlearn as I stepped away from Christianity.
One of the most comforting things about Judeo-Christian ethics is that in one sense it’s easier. There is an authoritative being who tells you what you should and should not do. There is no urgency to wrestle over the nuanced and difficult ethical issues that every culture faces in this case. Just do “what the Bible says.” But is it really that easy?
The last remnant of my Christian faith came unwound when I started to confront the question of how we determine right from wrong. I knew there were various approaches to ethics, yet I was taught that we had a moral code straight from an objective moral source. How could there possibly be a better option than a morality that comes from an entirely objective and pure being, who simply told humanity what to do and how to live?
No issue has caused me to question my Christian beliefs more than what is often called the problem of evil. Ever since the Greek philosopher Epicurus (342-271 BCE) first questioned the existence of God due to the existence of evil in the world, people have faced this problem and often walked away from the faith of their childhood. The reality of suffering in light of the professed goodness and power of God is the catalyst that is most responsible for the shift in my own theological views.
As a professing Christian, there was always one question that plagued me over the years: Why did the Bible deserve the kind of loyalty and trust I was giving it? My beliefs about that book guided almost every decision I made, and eventually I had to ask myself why I allowed it to do so. Once I stopped viewing the Bible as an authoritative voice never to be questioned, I was able to see the flaws in it and begin to look for more reliable ways to find my way...
My decision to leave the church and all organized religion has been a slow-evolving one and wasn’t prompted by any one particular event. I do not feel any significant personal injury by anyone I’ve known from the churches I’ve been a part of. So why would I leave? ....
I've got one more burst on this conversation about doubt and faith to follow up my last post. This all started with an article I recently read at Sojourners in which the author described his journey through and with doubt. I was encouraged to read how he has been able to find a place for... Continue Reading →
In the Fall of 1988, my friend Dave and I were sitting in a large conference hall listening to a man named Bill Gothard as he shared with us and a few thousand other "troubled teens" about how they can get their lives on the right path by following a series of principles that he... Continue Reading →
As some of you know, Krista and I have been testing the waters of the Anglican tradition lately. I’ll write more on that in a future post, but suffice it to say that the liturgy has brought us a fresh hope and a renewed heart for worshipping God. Like many denominations, the rapidly changing culture... Continue Reading →
When Krista and I heard that certain Christian groups were boycotting The Golden Compass, it made us want to go see it. But after reading more about it, there is room for caution. If you are planning on going to see the movie, which is based on the first book in a trilogy of novels... Continue Reading →