As you may have gathered from the name of this blog/website, I am struggling through some very severe doubt in my Christian faith. I thought it best to give you a quick background of myself and a brief glimpse of the evolution of my doubt.
I grew up in a very nurturing Christian home. I went to a Christian grade school, a Christian high school, and a Christian college. I was baptized as an infant. I made profession of faith as a teenager. I went to many Christian youth outings. I gave myself to Christ. I married a fantastic Christian woman. I was again baptized as an adult. I was pursuing sanctification. I joined a church and a care group. I firmly believed I was a Christian. Sure, all through this time there were spiritual highs and lows, but the lows were always followed by a re-awakening. And looking back, those re-awakenings were associated with an emotional high and a feeling of hope.
I’m also a scientist. I always have been. From a very early age I wanted to be either Spider Man or a mad scientist who would turn into Spider Man. Specifically my focus has generally been in biology. However, I have a very broad training that encompasses Cell biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Development Biology, EvoDevo and even Analytical Chemistry.
As a scientist I work and examine the natural world. I believe things based on the evidence. I try my best to think critically. It should come to no surprise that I believe in evolution and that all living things arose through common descent. As creationists define it, I believe in micro and macro evolution. I believe that humans had a common ancestor with the other great apes. I don’t believe there was a Noah flood, and I don’t believe there was an Adam and Eve.
For most of my life I held in balance the best I could, my belief in God and in the evolving world around me. The constant arguing with fellow Christian creationist and IDers caused my stumble into doubt. I continually asked myself, “If they are misrepresenting or lying about a non-salvation issue like evolution, are they misrepresenting or lying about salvation issues such as Christ resurrection, the existence of a loving God, etc.”
Normally my stumble into doubt would soon fade away as I would find some reason to believe. However since the beginning of 2007 my doubt has became more and more severe. Questions that I struggled with in the past resurfaced and became more troubling. If first part of Genesis is not literal, how much of the rest of Scripture is not literal? Was Christ resurrection just symbolic? The problem of evil becomes more problematic if Humans have been around some 250,000 years. That means God let humans suffer for 248,000 years before sending a Savior. Just think about all the pain and suffering that has gone on before “Adam and Eve’s original sin”.
Evolution has dealt a death blow to general revelation. God could have easily made Himself known in creation so that things couldn’t be explained by evolution and the idea of a creator would be necessary to explain the world around us. Why is God so hidden? Why isn’t it obvious that there is a God? Why is the one thing He supposedly gave us (the Bible) so hard to understand? Why can people read so many different things into it; resulting in many denominations and even cults? Why didn’t Jesus specifically write down what He wanted us to do and make that text physically unchangeable? Such as a stone tablet, or having the printing press invented in Jerusalem. Instead He relied on flawed people to hand write His message. If the first part of Genesis (at least 1-10) can’t be taken literally, what part of the Old Testament can? What part is “true” what part isn’t?
Broader questions arose too. What kind of relationship is it that we’re forced into an extreme decision: to believe and love Him, or be punished for eternity? My life seems too short and I feel too uninformed to base a decision that will affect the rest of my eternity.
Atheism seems more logically in tune with what I experience day to day. Things reproduce, grow, die, and then fade away. If we are so close to apes, what make us think we have a soul and they don’t? What about a dog, or a fish, or a tree? We’re here for a moment, and then we’re gone. Poof. Nothing more than a rotting body. No “after life”, just nothing.
Why should I believe otherwise? Oh yeah, that book that some people long ago wrote. What was their motivation to write that stuff? Was it to come to grips with their crappy life? To make themselves feel better about their lousy lot in life? Is it just another religion with a promise of an after life? And just because Christianity has the best (religious) story doesn’t make it true.
These are just a few of the painful, gut wrenching thoughts that go through my head. So as of today I go back and forth of whether or not I’m a Christian with severe doubt, or an agnostic. So, I’ve started this blog to help capture some of my thoughts, and hopefully can make progress one way or another.