I first wrote this post in August and have never published it so I guess that says something to start with. It is not easy give up something you have believed for 32 years. These are my thoughts and the stuff in my head. I do not project onto you and ask the same freedom to walk this journey my way. After years of trying to make sense of things this is what makes the most sense. There is plenty I do not understand and properly will never hope to. But there is just too much not only unexplained by religion but also totally contradictory to all the science I see and read. I know science is not an absolute and that we are always challenging what we knew and proving more stuff, but it takes us further from the mould of the God and church I grew up with.
So here goes the post I never published.
I know there are 3 things that one is never supposed to discuss: religion, politics and sex and since I have covered sex and politics before I thought I would brave a post on religion. It has been mulling about in my head for ages. I finally feel ready to put a few of my thoughts down.
I am not knocking what anyone else chooses to believe, this has been quite a long process for me.
I was brought up Christian, we went to church twice a Sunday. I believed as I was taught. I will never say brainwashed as my parents are very intelligent people and their belief is very important to them. They always allowed us to make our own choices and we were encouraged to question things. Lively debates often took place around the dinning room table.
I came from a church where you did not just get a easy to understand life application story each Sunday, No, you got 45+ minutes of in depth teaching, words and meanings were dissected and cross referenced. I know my bible better than most. But try as I might I could just never ‘feel’ what you were supposed to feel. My dad who is a very not emotional person approaches religion in a totally logical way and does not rely on emotion so I tried that too, but to no avail. I could not get my head around it all.
First the creation thing, if I can’t find a way that God is the creator I can not believe in his supremacy over it all. Either you believe that evolution like science shows is real or you have to find a way to fit it into creation and neither way works for me. Yes yes you can quote my finite understanding and quote I have to have faith, but if God made me with a brain and says all creation points to him and seek and you will find kind of implies that he is not out to trick you.
If you believe in the New World theory that the Earth is 6 thousand years old and that a literal 7 day creation happened then you have to believe that all of science is wrong or that the world was created to look old – created antiquity. This for me amounts to saying that God made the world look old to fool people. WTF??? No I am not a fan of that theory at all. And while science does get some things wrong and is always challenging its own findings there is a mass of evidence for a world much much older than 6 thousand years. And please don’t say the carbon dating thing is wrong as proof.
Okay so there are those that say maybe it was both, that creation was not a literal day and they quote the day being a thousand years thing. But see that does not fit either because death of any sort only happened after sin ie Adam and Eve ate the apple and from then on the wages of sin was death. Before that nothing had died. So you could not have had millions of years for things to evolve and die and change. Without the fall of man and the moment of bible-defined-sin you do away with all the other things in the bible, it is all based on the need to redemption for sin. All are born sinner as descendants of Adam and so all need a Saviour. But if there was no literal creation and fall then there was no moment of sin that we all inherited and no need for a Saviour.
Then the whole election thing, Yes I was from an ultra reformed church, so if you think happy clappy is on the one end of the scale think the other side, as we affectionately like to know them, the frozen chosen. You believe that all people who are saved are known to God and it is only through him working in your life you are saved. This leaves something akin to survivor guilt. Why me, why not all the other people I know. The answer is always, through the grace of God and that none of us deserve it so we are just ?lucky? You could hold that view that ALL could come to God and that it is a personal choice but then you dilute Gods omniscience, either he knows everything and has planned and controls everything so therefor he controls those who are saved or he does not know and it is a big surprise who is saved. Neither sounds great. If he chooses then he condems a whole lot a people. The big question I always struggled with was WHY.
If you believe in a crucifixion etc why wait 2000+ years and have millions upon millions of people going to hell. I don’t get it. If it is all done and the sin problem has been dealt with why not just come and end all this suffering he is on control of.
The verse that always got me was the one about the peace of God transcending all understanding. This was never true for me it was torture. It made no sense. I am most at peace having looked at all this and deciding what makes the most sense is that evolution happens and we get this time and then we die. Things are random, there is no one controlling it all. For some this is not comforting but to me it is the alternative is that he allows all this. My way we are responsible and what we contribute, it comes from within. And sometimes bad things happen. And equally so sometimes amazing good things happen and nature and evolution and science can fill one with such a great sense of wonder and amazement and a strive to know more and do better as a person and as a part of the human race.
okay just had to get that all off my chest.