The line that I never thought I would cross

line-in-the-snad

Ever since leaving the IFB, I have been purposefully vague about where I stand on Biblical issues and theology. Mostly, this was due to the fact that I have been laboriously reviewing every position I have. And for the first time in my life, I have been forming beliefs, views, and opinions from outside the bubble as an adult. The results are not what I expected, and they may come as a shock to those I have not yet been able to tell in person. Given my previous track record, I know that a lot of people have a very specific image of who I am and what I believe and stand for. And I want to bring everyone up to speed. So here it goes.

I am an agnostic. Depending on how you define the term, you might consider me to be a deist or an atheist. The simple fact is that I do not believe in God. More specifically, I do not believe in the personal God that is described in the Bible. As to how I came to that conclusion, I am more than happy to share that at a different time.

For some of you, this information is very difficult to swallow. All I ask for now is that you consider the following statements and talk with me in person before jumping to any conclusions.

1. I still care about each and every one of you. It saddens me to know that there are some friends who will inevitably break communication with me over this. If that is you, I do not fault you for that, and I understand. But please bear in mind that the choice to share my views is based in a desire for honesty and openness. In no way am I making a personal attack against anybody, any group of people, or any organization.

2. I am still the same guy that I was before. In fact, my life is still pretty normal by most standards. I suffer through the morning commute to a job that I love (most days). My wife is the love of my life and my best friend. I am a huge Redskins fan/Cowboys hater. My sense of humor is unfortunately not any better, and you can still catch me laughing at things that aren’t really that funny. I’m still a sucker for tech gadgets of any kind. I am still absolutely captivated by great music, and a solid father/son movie is almost guaranteed to make my eyes sweat.

3. My moral compass has not been destroyed. I didn’t become an agnostic in order to live free of consequences for my behavior and choices. I don’t hold a grudge against any deity whatsoever. And on a related note, I am not in league with Satan to destroy the moral fabric of society.

4. I hope that we can still be friends.

5. If you are a theist, and especially if you are a practicing christian, I do not consider you to be stupid or ignorant. Most importantly, I do not look down on you. If you hold a theistic viewpoint, I am hoping that we can agree to disagree and find a way to move forward in harmony. Please know that I am not on a mission to subversively crumble the foundations of anyone’s faith.

6. Let’s talk it over. If you want to know the reasons that I am agnostic, I am more than happy to have a friendly conversation about it. I would ask two things:

Number one: Please don’t feel awkward to broach the subject of your personal views on religion and spirituality (I know that for some this will be easier said than done). I will not be offended or upset by hearing about praying, church, blessings, theology, or anything else that may (or may not) be an integral part of your life. You are important to me, and therefore the things that are important to you are important to me.

Number two: Please do not try to fix me. I am not broken.

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About Techrolle

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

9 responses to “The line that I never thought I would cross

  • B.Rolle

    Gee, you turned out OK after all. (Deep sigh of relief). Glad you put the Borg in their place! Love you!

  • ramblingtart

    Love this. 🙂 No, you are not broken. This is kind, gentle, honest and real and even though I’ve never met you, I feel proud of you. 🙂

  • recreatingpeter

    I left a high-pressure church a couple of years ago and I’m still floating around looking for a church. I don’t blame you for wanting to drop the whole God thing, it is a normal reaction.
    But it is possible to reject the image of God that other people have fed you (either because they did not know any better, or because they wanted to use you) and not God himself.
    I was lucky enough to be exposed to Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox and Catholic authors that helped me see that Christianity is much bigger, and much more healthy than 20th century American fundamentalists.
    But you are on your own path, and have to find your own way. Good luck.

  • David Smith

    Hey Dan how are you? It’s David Smith. Listen I stumbled across this blog and I figured I would leave you a note, written with respect and in love. I understand that the way you had to come up was very constricted. Mine was as well, though not to as great an extent as yours. I can understand the anger and frustration that you must feel. Rage towards others , rage towards God, rage towards the church. Rage toward your parents. Christianity has been divided into many different groups since the beginning. There are many differences on doctrine and tradition. However there is one thing that has always given me comfort. That is my trust in my savior Jesus Christ. I don’t understand every nuance of the bible , and perhaps never will. But I have faith that Jesus was more than just a man. He died because it was the only way my sinful soul could be redeemed. He is a part of me, and as sinful and as weak of a Christian as I have been in my life, I still believe. When I was nearly shot in the line of duty, he was there for me. In the quiet moments after midnight when I am alone in my squad car he is there for me. When I was fighting in the alleyway, by myself, alone and without backup, he was there for me. And if he calls me home, and I go to my grave, at whatever time is appointed, he will go with me also.

    I am a man now, no longer a child as I was at CBC. I can think critically, objectively, and independently. I accept Jesus fully, without reservation, and with full faith. While there may be differences of opinion on who should wear what? Or what music or shows to watch? Or what places to frequent, in the totality of things, really those questions are not relevant. What is relevant is faith in Jesus Christ and the acknowledgement of our personal need for his redemption. If that is our starting point, them everything else will fall into place.

    It pains me to see your writing here. I will pray for you, as I am writing this letter to you. Do not reject Jesus, for he is all that we have. The temporary pleasures of this world will pass away. We will grow old and our physical bodies will die. Husbands will leave their wives, wives will leave their husbands. Those who once stated they love you will turn their back and reject you. The houses, cars, and possessions we have will all be destroyed in the coming fire. In the end, we will all stand, our souls naked and bare, in the emptiness of time and space, and face our Lord.

    When we do, I want to tell him that I love him and that I’m so very sorry. I know because I have faith in his promises that he will accept me into everlasting glory. I want you there too my brother. The alternative is an empty abyss, devoid of love. A journey to an eternity of being alone and in torment.

    Pray, Forgive, Let go, Revive, And come alive again in Christ. He will not forsake you.

    Your old friend,

    David

  • gitts

    Great post, sharing the heart of many around the world

  • Brad11

    One question, out of curiosity, how do you view the Bible now?

    • Techrolle

      Great question Brad. My views on the Bible are still evolving, so I may not have the same answer a year from now as I do today. That being said, I do not assign any divine attributes to the Bible. I do not view it is infallible. I think that it contains some excellent advice about living up to our human potential, and at the same time, it’s easy to find the same guidance in other religious texts.

      Is it worth the read? I think so. Will I base my life on it? Definitely not.

      • Brad11

        Thanks for the reply,
        Without you having to bear your soul (I’m sure this conclusion came after much time and consideration), what led you to not regard the Bible as divine? It’s quite a contrast going from an IFB background (which claims the authority of the Bible, though it seems to rely heavily on the pastor’s opinion) to not recognizing the authority of it.

      • Techrolle

        It is true that a lot of thought went into the process. At the end, it was simple math. Without God, there can be no divine inspiration or divine authority. I do not believe that God exists. Therefore, any authority or or inspiration must, by definition, be the result of men.

        Another factor that led me to this conclusion is that I realized the the burden of proof lies on the side of the one making the extraordinary claim. Not the other way around. For my entire life, I was under the illusion that I should believe that the Bible was infallible unless someone proved me wrong. Realizing that it was my responsibility to prove that I was right led me in search of that proof. And I came up empty handed.

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