I was raised Southern Baptist, moved to Non-Denominational in my 20s, but after some serious pondering, I no longer consider myself Christian. I still believe in the historical Jesus, but I have some serious doubts about His role in my life, and in the Bible. I will cover these topics below.
First, I have so many physical and mental infirmities that I suffer endlessly, and I am becoming convinced that my religious experiences were actually bi-polar or schizophrenic episodes that went undiagnosed. I have had several experiences where I was convinced that God spoke directly to me. Once was convinced that it was the end of the world, and that I was one of the two witnesses of Revelation. Likewise, I responded to a call to ministry in 2006, and I remembered hearing from God that I would one day have a huge influence. In short, these two examples are possible bi-polar episodes that went undiagnosed. Who am I to think that I would actually be that special? This is typical of bi-polar manics, which I believe they were.
Second, I have many doubts about the Bible. I think of the verse where Jesus talks about how he clothes the lilies and feeds the birds, so do not worry about those things because he will provide. However, people are enslaved to a working system that is very corrupted, and people die of hunger every couple seconds. Did God forget about them? Also, the God of the Old Testament was a God of war. There seems to be little room for that in the New Testament. Romans 13 even says that leaders are “appointed” by God and should be obeyed. So Nero, Hitler, Stalin and others were appointed. Not just allowed. Appointed. At what point is it / was it wrong for me to pick up a rifle a fight appointed tyranny?
There are times I am still tempted to start a revolution. That got me thrown in the looney bin real quick. Oh, and I can’t own guns anymore. Imagine that.
I could keep a shallow faith that echos something like, “What would Jesus do?” but that is just it, I am not sure what Jesus would do anymore. I really think Jesus would fight the oppressive government that continues to rule the United States, or, at least, fight the corporations that bought them out. Why He doesn’t is beyond me.
Finally, in the first century, people didn’t self-identify as Christians. They considered themselves followers of “the way.” Acts 11:26 tells us “they were first called Christians at Antioch.” I have read this and always supposed that the people of Antioch believed Christ rose from the dead and cloned himself into abunch of people with different names. These early disciples didn’t give themselves this label, it was given to them by the “lost” people around them. I don’t consider myself a Christian, but if someone called me one, I would take it as a compliment and an honor.
I have been struggling with this for many years, but there eventually came a point this year where I decided, that I just don’t believe it anymore. I want to believe, but my faith has just given out. There are so many religions, and so many different sub-sects of Christianity, and they are all convinced that they are right. Who is? Who knows. All I know is that if God is real, and He really cares about His people, He wouldn’t have left them guessing. That’s my story and I am sticking to it…for now. Wagen, over and out.