I am very much an all or nothing kind of guy. If I make the decision to be part of something you’ll know because I dive right in and get my hands dirty. Nothing less than everything I have is enough. On the other hand, if I decide that I can’t give my all to something then I generally make the decision to step away entirely. I’m constantly throwing the baby out with the bath water.
As I went through the holiday season this year, I realized that lately I’ve been doing this with my religion.
When I was 15, I made the decision to become a Christian. At the time, I didn’t entirely understand what I was signing up for. As I started attending church and getting into it all, I quickly realized that I was being handed this 2000 year old package and it was up to me to sort through and understand it all. I spent hours researching the bible, looking up apologetic arguments for the existence of God, arming myself for the “battle” that I had just enlisted myself for. I very naively accepted the package that was handed to me, and everything I read I believed was true. I think I also feared that if I didn’t believe it all, that I wouldn’t be accepted.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the presuppositions I have regarding the bible, the church, God, Jesus, and everything this Christian religion is about. Why do I have to believe that the bible is literal, or that its 100% true? Why do I have to believe that God created the world 6000 years ago in a span of 6 days? Why do I have to believe that there is a place called hell?
I feel like if I don’t believe all of these things, then I can’t believe in the things I still want to believe in: that God came to earth as Jesus to save us from ourselves. That the message isn’t one of personal salvation but rather of redeeming the world. That our purpose on earth is to be Jesus to those who are in the greatest of need.
I really don’t want to throw on the baby with the bath water on this one.