Questions

War is always bloody and tragic.  There are always more casualties than solutions.  Always.  And a war in the mind is no different.  For years the carnage ripped through the deep secret corridors of my mind.  A war of questions, and a war of truth.  They fashioned themselves as an unending tidal wave and relentlessly pounded the stone walls that more than twenty years of indoctrination and brainwashing had built.  There is no doubt that it has taken its toll on my mind and on my life.  One after another, walls came crashing down and truth shined in.  At first, I was ok with that.  The issues that I questioned were only related to standards and priorities.  But the more walls that came down, the more exposed became the ideas and beliefs that, in themselves, were inseparable from who I was as a person.  And that’s when the feelings of freedom gave way to chilling uncertainty.

 

And even though I was scared, I couldn’t back away.  I couldn’t just brush it under the rug as I had in the past.  And so I asked the questions I was scared to ask.  Is God real?  What about the virgin birth?  Is it possible that Jesus Christ was just a historical figure and not really the Son of God?  Is the Bible really a divine book, and not just a great piece of historical literature?  Are Heaven and Hell real?  If they are, is Christianity the only way to get to Heaven and escape Hell?  Is the creation that Genesis describes really a young-earth creationism point of view?  Is it possible that evolution could be compatible with Christianity?  Is it possible that God had no part at all in the origins of the universe?

 

As long as this war was fought on the inside, I didn’t have to face the consequences of vocalizing these questions.  For years I didn’t  even mention a word of this to my wife.  But the war has gone public now.  And in a way, its a relief.  I thought I was the only fundy who struggled with these questions.  I was wrong.  She does too.  In fact, thousands have entered the dark forest of questions.  I know this because I have spent the last few months cyberstalking your blogs and podcasts.  Some of you are now atheists.  Some of your are now agnostics.  Some of you decided to ignore the questions and continue on with life as normal.  And some of you remained Christians, but have left the IFB for a drastically different kind of Christianity.

 

But for those of us (and I include myself) in the fourth group, have we jumped ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ so to speak?  What is to say that by switching from one bubble (the IFB) to another that we didn’t just switch the label on the propaganda pipeline connected to our brains?

 

I am going to be completely vulnerable here and admit that I have not yet made it out of this forest of questions.  And I am willing to go on the record as saying that for two reasons.  Number one, I want others who are asking questions in the dark corners of loneliness to know that they are not the only ones.  And number two, because its an undeniable part of my journey.

 

Funny.  There was a time that I could construct complex theological arguments to justify my position.  Now, my Christianity is wrapped up in the following simplicity.  I call myself a Christian because I cannot explain my life without God.  As for the rest?  I will probably share my conclusions on some things in a series of later posts (I hope), but to tell the truth I don’t have all the answers, and I never will.  And that’s okay.
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About Techrolle

Former Fundamentalist. Current member of the human population. Future cranky black man. View all posts by Techrolle

10 responses to “Questions

  • Damien T Garofalo

    Fundamentalism, and to a large extent, much of modern evangelicalism has substituted the quest for certainty for the quest for truth. No wonder why so many evangelistic methods begin with the question:

    “If you were to die today, are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?”

    A like a flow chart, we were told what to do if the prospect said no. Actually, we were told what to say even if he or she said, “Well, I’m pretty sure.” Honestly, I was convinced that if a person was 99% sure or less of his own salvation, he wasn’t saved.

    If he questioned the veracity of the text, questioned the age of the earth, questioned his own salvation, questioned hell, etc. it was an indicator of an unregenerate heart.

    This kind of Christianity says, “bless God, I’m sure!”

    A true disciple says, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

    • Dan

      Very true. The system is designed so that if you question one thing you only have two choices: repent, or question absolutely everything that you believe.

  • Sierra

    I’m so glad I found your blog! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  • denelian

    the problem i have with modern fundamentalist churches is that they go against what Christ said and did and told us to do.

    He says, more than once, in the Gospels that NO ONE knows if they’re going to Heaven. period. there is NO surety.
    He said to not “act the Pharisee” – to not let legalism take over. what is fundamentalism but an attempt to replace the Holy Spirit with legalism? do X and Y and Z and “Heaven is assured” is unBiblican and UnChrist-like. the whole POINT of Christ’s sacrifice was to tear the Veil so that we have direct access to the Holy Spirit and no longer need priests to intercede – no longer need to sacrifice animals – no longer need to leed legalistic lives to “be right with God.”

    we now have GRACE, and in the presence of Grace, legalism has NO PLACE.

    further, it’s my personal belief that legalism is insulting Christ. that’s JUST me, but… He died so that we don’t have to live like that anymore. so what do we do?
    we live like that.

    in a way, it’s the WORST rebellion – it’s an attempt to control God. “If i follow all the rules perfectly, i’ll be sin-free and go to Heaven.”
    that appears NOWHERE in ANYTHING Christ said, and is in fact in direct opposition to Christ’s Message.

    sorry – /rant
    i, too, am enjoying your blog. it makes me hopeful 🙂

  • Redeem Christianity

    I think the answer to all these questions are fairly simple, once some basic concepts are grasped.

    #1 The system of the church is extremely corrupt
    #2 The bible is indeed the inspired word, written by man, spoken by God
    #3 God still speaks to his people today through dreams, visions, words, and other’s people
    #4 The “crazy” things in the scriptures (resurrection, walking on water, healings, transportation, material multiplication) did indeed happen, and still happen today.

    • Dan

      Thanks for the comment!

      I wish that it were that simple. Unfortunately, because of the way that beliefs are stacked up on top of each other in the IFB, to question one is equivalent to denying the whole sum of beliefs. Coming out of that mindset, concepts that may seem basic to some must be strenuously proven and evaluated before even being considered as possibilities.

      What supporting evidence is there for statements #2 through #4 in your comment?

  • forgedimagination

    I’m going through this, too. All of these questions, but sometimes I have the hardest time trying to work through creationism. Every time I try to be honest about it, I have a dozen years of indoctrination that kicks in.

    I went to a natural history museum with my husband on my honeymoon, and I went through the “evolutionary” exhibit for the first time in my life. I came out on the other side crying because my mind was so at war with myself.

    True intellectual honesty, I’m discovering, is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.

  • RachelG

    Thank you for this! I’m right here. I can’t explain my life without God – but who he is, what he is like – I have no idea. And the thing is, because I was raised in a cult I do not trust myself to believe one thing or another. It’s exhausting!

  • ramblingtart

    Thank you so much for writing what’s really in your heart. It meant a lot to me as I am working through many of those same questions. Isn’t it a HUGE relief to finally take those questions out of the shadows? I really hope you have some good people in your life who love YOU, no matter what you questions, what you believe, or what you hope for. Wishing you continued courage to be honest with your own soul, and much wisdom as you figure out what you truly believe.

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