Okay the biggest reason I have this stupid thing is to vent and let you lovely folks know what rattles around in my cranium. So here ‘tis.
I think the biggest problem I’m having right now is a question I’ve asked myself (and have been asked) time and again over the years. How do I know that what I believe is really real? How do I know that God exists? How do I know that I’m not a heretic?
I ran that last one past Leigh last night. I mean seriously, “heresy” started with the apostles and hasn’t stopped to take a breath. Let’s say for argument’s sake that my current understanding of the scripture is one hundred percent spot-on. If that’s the case then an argument could be made that if you’re Arminian in theology then you are a heretic. If you’re SDA or Mormon, you’re a heretic. Unitarian? Straight to Hell. ICOC? Roasting with the rich man.
Now let’s flip that around. Suppose that I’m off base on even one thing (a major thing like baptism or the nature of the Trinity). Then that spells trouble for me, especially as I have been a teacher and God supposedly holds us to a higher standard (how that can really work I don’t know since we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”). I could be a heretic and not even know it. When you consider that a lot of the early church fathers (2nd and 3rd century) were already slipping in some major weird theology I would be in good company I suppose, but that doesn’t get me “right with God”.
Now I know that I don’t have to be perfect. I know that I don’t have to teach everything correctly. I know that God’s grace is sufficient for his children. I’m pretty sure that there was even forgiveness for Judas. (Again all assuming that I understand what I read and that that is true.) How does all of this mesh with a God that is perfect in his righteousness and blood thirsty in his nature?
Now to the next question. What if all us Christians are wrong? From the RCC to the snake handlers in Appalachia, we could all be off our collective rockers. There is no shortage of belief systems out there, some older than Christianity some newer and all taken just as seriously as we take our faith. What if they’re right? Or what if the atheists are right? Okay that wouldn’t be as bad considering that there would be no afterlife for us to look stupid in but think about all the years of unnecessary guilt and shame we have felt. Sure we’ve done some good if we’re doing good works, but an equal amount of harm has been done in the name of various gods to start wars and make people’s lives miserable because that don’t “measure up” to our standard (I’m looking at you Religious Right). In any case this whole thing would’ve been a colossal waste of time at best.
I know that the apologists out there have a whole bunch of pat answers out there for all of these questions. I don’t need pat answers. I’m not sure what I need.
Here’s what I know.
I love my family.
I love my friends.
I love complete strangers and those that hate and persecute me or wish to.
I want to enjoy this life I have. No matter what the truth is, I only have one go round in this particular world.
I’ve no wish to hurt anyone in any way (including myself).
So I guess I’m not in a horrible place. I’m not completely in the dark. I feel love from friends and family. I know that there are people that care about me and don’t judge me for any of this. So I guess that’s it for now.