Happy Thor’s Day
Probably for the purpose of the future of Odin’s Eye I am going to cover three areas. Firstly, I want to cover my current state of belief in greater detail so I will have three posts one on each of the following: Deism, Humanism and Paganism. Secondly, I want to offer my four objections to the God of the Bible in detail, so there will be post on each of them. Thirdly, If I am reading my calendar correctly, this will take me into December as I will probably use Odin’s Eye as a sounding board around Halloween and when it falls on Thanksgiving to talk about those holidays and how I celebrate them now ending with Yule or Christmas.
Before I start all of that though, I want to talk about the nature of my Crisis of Faith and some of the foundational things that led to it. Before I begin going trough the four things I normally do in Odin’s Eye, I want to explain on an emotional level this crisis I had this past two years was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to face. I would rate only my father’s death and the period time around my near divorce as more emotionally trying. That said this crisis lasted over two years. It was not an instantaneous thing and it probably led to a very vulnerable emotional state over a long period of time. Since I have owned up to the fact I just don’t believe in Christianity anymore, it has been very welcome relief from the emotional strain.
My crisis of faith starts with the simple fact that as far as faith goes I was told to have a thinking Christianity. That is a reasonable faith all my life. It is interesting that my Sunday School teacher seems to at the end of her life had a similar experience as myself, but it was she who also told me that God can handle your questions and will be able to answer them or he is not God. I was taught early on to search the Scriptures. It was in this search I simply found eventually after forty years, questions I still do not have answers for and probably never will. The issue though with faith is that the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 suddenly became nonsense to me because at face reading it is nonsense. It’s simply nonsense to say that which we hope for is evidence. Wishful thinking but not evidence.
It’s not that the religion known as Christianity hasn’t played a part as well in the crisis. Throughout my ministry career of twenty years, I have watched people who claim Christianity, in the name of their religion, do some pretty despicable things to each other. One of my personal objections to Christianity is the gospel doesn’t live up to the hype of personal transformation of those who claim to have been ‘saved’. It was never the religion that appealed to me. It was the theology. In the end the rituals and doctrinal statements and the expectations of the religion left me empty and if anything drained me, so it offered no comfort or security to my faith.
It’s the theology really that certain questions (which I will go over in the coming weeks) that left me going – “What the hell?” It actually started with the notion of ‘sin’ as a concept. When I realized that there was nothing natural in the world that said certain things are inherently sinful, I began to sense a problem. If some preacher in my childhood hadn’t come along and told me I was a sinner, I would have never had that notion in my head. Sin is simply not self-evident, nor has the God who exists (if one exists) ever come to me personally and told me I was a sinner. In a sense Christianity tells you that you have a disease (without first proving empirically that the disease exists) and then offers you a cure. They cure a problem of their own creation.
With that understood I realized a few more things about the Bible and the god it presents. 1) The Bible has no empirical evidence that it is inspired. It makes that claim but never proves it – you accept it on faith or you don’t. 2) The God of the Bible seems to not have a very good plan for solving the problem of sin for a supreme being. Why doesn’t he just forgive the sin against him like he expects us to do with each other? Nope, Instead he kills his own son!?! 3) The god of the Bible’s justice is a little suspect, especially when you consider Hell. I will go over these in the coming months so bear with me as I offer more explanations over time.
Through it all however, I have held on to some beliefs – Deism, Humanism and elements of what Christians would consider Pagan have survived. I believe in Reason, Humanity and the Spiritual. I meditate but for different reason. Probably the weird thing still to me is I don’t pray. To whom? Prayer has always bothered me anyway because most of the time it is asking for things and when a prayer is ‘answered’ you never hear the end of it from those who prayed because they claim credit for the result even though they might have had very little to do with it. I figure the supreme being of the universe either doesn’t give a fuck, gave us what we need in ourselves to handle the problem or doesn’t exist so we are on our own. Pray is in some ways presumptuous that our problems and our value means something to the divine to the point they will act on our behalf. If god truly is our friend its pretty one side friendship because of the way we pray.
For me a lot of things are spiritual but how that matters is still something I exploring and learning about to see where I am and where I am going. All of this has brought me back to a Seeker level and to be honest this spiritual wayfarer prefers to stay that way. If the divine powers that might exist, choose to bless me or do something for me may it be because of my deeds as I walk. not because I begged them through prayer.
Basically what I am saying this involved belief in Christianity in relationship to reasonable assessment. Nothing more and nothing less. If you think its more personal because of recent events in my life, you would be wrong. Those have an effect on my spirituality because of the emotions involved. But my Crisis of faith was intellectual and theological in particular.
What I want people to understand is that a crisis of faith is a serious matter. It rips you up in ways only another person who has been through it can truly understand. If you have never been through it, I am sorry you can’t relate but I can tell you don’t dismiss the emotions involved or the seriousness of them. It can cause deep depression that is no laughing matter. It also shouldn’t be just dismissed for many other reasons.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.