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.
Deconstruction of my faith probably began in a small way in my Junior College literature class in 1990, when I had to read the Bhagavad Gita and the Tao Te Ching. At that time, it wasn't much more than a novelty, but it was the first time I ever considered that there are other people in the world who knew nothing about Christianity and were completely immersed in a different world view.
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?
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...
I believe the church as a social entity is dying and that's disheartening to realize. Throughout history, there have been foundational movements and moments where believers have ignited vital moral changes in society. While there are certainly dark days in the moral history of Christianity, there have also been important contributions to education, healthcare, the... Continue Reading →
“Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology…. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may... Continue Reading →
My men's group is going through a study by Richard Rohr on the Enneagram, a model for human personality and a tool for personal transformation. The introductory session was outstanding, giving me way too much to try and share in one blog post. However, something did stand out to me that I haven't been able... Continue Reading →
Last week, I was reading Richard Rohr's book, On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men, and came across something that has been a theme in my life, though not one I've always allowed to play out: Every man wants to discover something, to find what is missing here by journeying to a new... Continue Reading →
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household. ~ Ephesians 2:19 All Saints Day will always be special to us, since it was the day that Jude was baptized last year. I've mentioned that to a few people recently and they were interested... Continue Reading →