Tag Archives: Christian

between a faith and a skeptic place

10 Feb

It has already been months since I had regularly attended church and read the Bible. I could already sense people murmuring to themselves, “well, he already stated his spiritual problem by avoiding to do those things.” Or maybe the occasional “he’s going to burn in hell, that backslider.”

If I had a choice while growing up, I would have preferred any sensible religion (or lack of, i.e. Atheism) but Christianity. Not that I had a burning penchant to go below in the afterlife, but my reason would be that I could better understand and experience the Gospel as an outsider rather than an insider. Because its message has been tangible to tax collectors and prostitutes who knew sin first hand while the Pharisees felt entitled to God’s favor when unbeknownst to them they had a plank stuck in their eye.

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If a believer has not at least once experience any skepticism about his beliefs, I wonder whether his faith is really genuine or just an attractive cardboard cutout.

Last year, I went through an intense spiritual epiphany that led to months of disillusionment. As of this writing, it’s still difficult for me to talk about it because I can’t find the right words to string my thoughts. A few misplaced words can cause the reader to easily misconstrue what I’m trying to communicate.

The only thing I could safely note from this period is that I thought I had finally “figured the Gospel all out” and weeks later the euphoria dissipated, leaving me in the pitch black night, not yielding an inch to dawn.

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I do hope to begin attending church again someday soon, but I don’t want to impose this on myself out of obligation or out of fear getting a one-way trip to Brimstone Acres.

Also, I don’t want to remove my skepticism and hesitation and call it “trusting in God.” In some ways, I had already did this and over time it eroded my critical thinking and logic significantly. I was just getting by with pastors’ interpretations of the Bible passage and being passive in just being soaking it in without a second thought. (I have a gutsy feeling a good numbers of earnest believers do this, which only makes them more naive and prone to disillusionment.)

Jesus talks about the narrow road. How narrow is that road? Seeing Christianity is one of the dominant religions in the United States, I don’t know if the path could support the weight of millions let alone the image of believers shoving each other out of the way.

Better to pause a moment and ponder while letting others pass by me rather than to blindly follow the path ahead without any set conviction.

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Again, I should clarify the purpose of these posts about the religion I was raised in.

It will be a challenge writing these posts; to avoid the extremes of letting my ego boastfully rant to its dark-hearted content and my people-pleasing self emit only a few sentences out of political correctness. Instead, to find that balance where I share my contemplations and observations including past church experiences to make sense of Christianity during a period of disillusionment and search.

If you were expecting Five Easy Steps to Loving God the Right Way¹ including a group reading guide, you found the wrong author.

¹Actually, the correct title by the fictitious author is One Easy Step to Loving God the Right Way, and I could sum his book in four words: Do it my way.

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Aside

an intermission before moving on

3 Feb

The reason for this intermission is that along with the upcoming posts, there is going to be a series of entries about my experience with God and church.

After reading Jadesandwich’s post, I felt relieved because I was not alone in my experience with the church. Then it got me thinking to stop dwelling on them and instead write them down. I wanted to do this before, but I couldn’t find the sentences to string them into a decent theme. (I did consider creating a separate blog but decided to post them here.)

However, there is my concern for those people who have been a part of these experiences. While I’ll be giving them pseudonyms, they might figure it out who I might be referring to. Please be assured this is not a soapbox for me to stand up and spew groundless diatribe. Also, the events described is to the best of my recollection.

My best friend Joon was sharing with me about how Christian books he read always has it all-together with its solutions ready to be applied to one’s life. He wanted to read something by someone who struggled.

That’s something I want to read too, and seems like I’ll have to write so I could read it.