Been going through some old posts on the “Christian” forums that I used to post on before shutting down the accounts, and I found this that I’d posted in response to some criticisms of my theology (and the fact I apparently asked too many wrong questions) It’s still very applicable to where I am today so thought I’d share it here before I lost it forever.
So, given that I have some apparently odd (and blasphemous) ways of thinking I figured it was time to try and provide some kind of explanation for why I think the way I do. I have left some bits out but you don’t need to know them to see the path I’ve been on.
OK, had my first encounter with Christ when I was 14 at a Boys Brigade camp and it was awesome. Gave me confidence and self esteem to deal with seemingly endless barrage of bullying and parents arguing. Read my bible, went to church, helped out at church reading and being an altar boy….all was well. By the time I turned 19, I came face to face with my anger and everything was turned upside down. Parents were still arguing and trying to keep the marriage together. Despite having a good relationship with the vicar, I found his answers to be less than helpful. Didn’t find anything helpful in the Bible, got nothing from God and was constantly told to just have faith. My granddad, grandma and my Nan died within 2 years of each other, so did my pet dog and then my parents got divorced. Anger is a polite way of describing how I felt.
Got to 23/24 and this was still the situation. I’d read the Bible cover to cover and had even more questions, God still wasn’t listening and the next person who told me to take the Bible at face value was going to find it inserted into a hard to reach area. Since I had no idea what reality was and God seemingly didn’t care, I declared myself an atheist, decided that the Bible was the work of 2 drunk men in a bar and got on with my life.
Moved to Oxford in 2008, met a Christian at my new work, got invited to the alpha dinner then the course then met more Christians who wanted to tell me to have faith and to take the bible at face value. Cue me dismantling the argument and being satisfied with my nights work. Repeat for 3 weeks. Then my mate started coming back with historical facts! Huh? There was actual historical evidence to support the bible or at least the New Testament? This is the first I’d heard of it, hence I didn’t have a pre-loaded answers. That was my cue to be stumped for once. Did my own research and whilst not everything stood up to scrutiny, enough did for my brain to go “hmmm, maybe there’s enough here to merit a further look”
Then God started talking to me then the Devil weighed in; the past came back and I lost reality again. I concluded this wasn’t a coincidence therefore the Devil existed so God must do too; you can’t have one without the other. Which one was stronger and who could I trust? Neither my brain screamed. After much heart to heart (and coffee) with my friends I eventually gave my life back to Christ in their living room (didn’t actually make it to work the following day as I was exhausted) Went back to reading the Bible but couldn’t get out of my cynical mode of finding all the errors. Then one evening on the toilet, God spoke to me saying “treat it as a letter from me” (I always seem to have my most profound revelations on the toilet, I’m convinced this is where some of the greatest breakthroughs in history were made) This got me over this hurdle but then struggled with the whole face value issue. The Bible starts with a talking snake and ends with a 4 headed monster (I’d seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it had them too) Several books and chats later I see that the Bible contains poetry and prophecy and metaphors and allegory. How the heck do I know which is what? God answered that one whilst I was in the shower – ASK ME!!!! So I did….and it suddenly dawned on me why I was struggling so much a decade ago; I was asking the church, I was asking the Bible but I wasn’t asking God.
Wait, what? But the Bible is the word of the God so isn’t it the same thing? What does it mean for the Bible to be inspired anyway? More research and discussion needed….ooh that looks interesting…wait, what’s this about wiping out an entire civilization? And what’s this about Genesis being similar to other cultures stories? God wiped them out as they were the worst sinners according to the church. God, what do you say? Luke 13:1-7 – AAARGHHH!!! (that bits me not God) Now evolution is coming into view, it’s too much, my faith is crumbling….. Another message from God whilst cooking dinner; “put Canaan to one side and focus on Genesis”. Went out, read books and discovered the culture of Genesis. Not everyone in history took Genesis literally yet got on fine, it doesn’t affect our salvation. Crisis averted; God, we’ll go with that for now, that works for me. Thanks God
Back to Canaan. The church and many others tell me this but Jesus says the opposite? Once again whilst in the shower; “who are you following; me or other people?” “But Lord they’re Christians like me”. “They don’t know you, I do and they’re on their own journey with me” That makes sense but it sort means God is giving people different answers but then since he’s infinite and God, he can and it all makes sense to him.
That’s pretty much it up to present day. Still working through stuff, still having problems giving personal issues with God. But my thinking led me to God, he’s led me through things, taught me a lot and we’ve barely scratched the surface. So there you go, me in 1 post with some bits omitted. Hope that helps make sense of why I am the way I am. If it doesn’t or you still think I’m blasphemous……can’t say I haven’t tried.