A few weeks ago, I wrote down titles and ideas for articles to place on this website. I came up with 38 ideas for articles. I wrote skeletons for each, and all that was needed was a little flesh before I could place them here for everyone to think about and comment on. I had a great article on the story of Ananias and Sapphira and today’s church fund raising strategies all ready to go – and I decided not to publish it. I instead looked at my earlier articles, and watched how the style of my articles progressed as my faith in Jesus Christ disappeared.
My earliest articles were written while I was a faithful Christian, with doubts. They were simple questions. As I read and studied more, the questions became more sophisticated, more troublesome. Pretty soon, my articles started professing real heresy - The Resurrection Challenge, Polytheism in the Old Testament, etc. And last of all – an article on Secularism, written as a credo by Robert Ingersoll that makes more sense to me than any Christian Creed that I ever recited.
I took a couple of weeks off the Internet, a break from my Theistic reading, a break from commenting on other blogs. I just needed some fresh air, and some time alone with God (whoever God is) to think about everything I have learned.
I have reached a kind of resolution. While I still have questions about the Bible and Christian belief, they are now merely academic to me. My faith no longer hangs on the answers to those difficult problems. I found answers, but they are diametrically opposed to Christian belief. My questions about the Bible are now no more than amusements to me. I might as well face it - I am in no way a Christian anymore. Morally? Sure, I can be Christain in the sense of maintaining Christian values. Do I have faith in Jesus Christ for the saving justification from God and the remission of my sins? No way. I used to, I had that faith for many years, but that faith has evaporated. I am convinced, after much study, reading, reflecting, prayers, tears that The Gospel message for our salvation is pure fiction – pious mythology. I am not saying this to offend anyone. It is not a conscious decision to reject any Christian’s belief system; I have not signed my name on any dotted line, and I mean no insult. I don’t really consider this a de-conversion. It is just a reaction to what I have learned and experienced. I can no more believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of mankind than I could believe in Superman as the savior of mankind.
I can list many many reasons why I am no longer a Christian. But I have defended myself to my fellow church friends many times in the last year or so, and frankly I am tired of it. I am holding responsibility up to the Christian to tell me what reason I have to believe. I am open minded – I am willing to accept sound reasoning why I should believe. I will trust Christianity and Jesus if there is a good reason to believe the Gospel Message is true and the Bible has any divine authority – I have nothing against it and hold no grudge. But I just see no reason why those things should be true. And sadly most Christians reason out and analyze last night’s episode of American Idol more than they do their own Christian beliefs – and I think that is tragic.
I am not angry or bitter regarding my years of Christian belief. On the contrary! Christianity has taught me an enormous amount about people and why they believe what they do. Christianity has given me a sound moral foundation, a heart for generosity and giving, and loving and caring for my fellow human being. Christianity has given me a healthy sense of humility and taught me my proper perspective in the world. But leaving Christianity has also taught me more about people, both good and bad. Leaving Christianity has given me a new appreciation for The Bible, as I see it and read it as a human document with whole new meanings, and no longer with the bogus and constricting straightjacket of infallability. And a side-effect has been a renewed interest in history and literature in general.
I also believe that since there is no Divine Salvation, there is probably no afterlife – neither Heaven or Hell. The fact that there is no Hell is a huge relief for me, and a reason for hope for the countless billions I used to believe were doomed with damnation. If there is no afterlife, then I am committed to making the most of this life as I can, because this is it, baby. This realization convicts me to be the best man and husband that I can possibly be, and has drawn me even closer to my lovely wife.
So what will happen with this website? I don’t know. I still want to publish articles, but since I am not questioning as fervently and have reached a sort of resolution, my articles won’t be as frequent. Computers are not a hobby of mine anyway, and given a choice I would much rather be working in the yard or jogging in the desert with my dogs. I have many diverse interests, not just theistic discussion, so future articles may branch out into other areas, such as history, desert ecology and conservation, physics, astronomy, and maybe even my true love *gasp* mathematics! Whatever happens, I will avoid Politics like the plague.
When I do discuss the Bible or Christianity, I still resolve not to debate (too much anyway) with my readers. Sure, I throw out questions to counter an argument every now and again, but in the end I really don’t care what anyone on the internet believes. But just remember this. Life has a way of being unpredictable – all I ask my readers is to never stop learning, or stop asking questions, or take beliefs or claims at face value. I will continue to do the same, as that philosophy has enriched my life greatly.
I am not a Christian. Where do I go from here?