A few years back, I got serious about becoming a Christian. I tried to read my bible and pray everyday. As I would read; I’d question. I had many many questions because I was determined to study and understand what I was reading. I see a lot of atheist claim to have read the entire bible and say it’s the easiest way to become an atheist or reject christianity, but I say it’s one thing to read the bible, and another to understand the bible. I am highly skeptical about if the bible was approved by God himself, but I also see that there’s plenty of truth in there as well; I can’t ignore that. Right now, I see the bible as a piece of the truth. I feel like it’s a tool that’ll bring us closer to the spiritual truth about this mysterious world we were forced into.
I’ve been breiftly exploring other spiritual ideas as well and that has greatly contributed to my skeptisism. In the beginning, I was on fire for Jesus. I was confident that Christianity, the bible, God and Jesus were the truth… until I continued to read and dive deep into the occult and other spiritual ideas. I felt like there was more to this story than the bible. I didn’t feel like the bible provided enough information, guidance and instruction. I feel like the bible is too vague and too complicated to understand to be God sent. I feel like the way God is portrayed in the Bible is off putting and is a very contraditory being. I go by the saying, ”if it doesn’t make sense… it’s probably bs”. I feel like you don’t need to be spiritually enlightened to see how fishy the GOB seems. It just doesn’t give me God vibes, It gives me story book and man made vibes. But I do feel like the people who have contributed to writing the bible are spirutually enlightened.
I’ll stop here. This is just a breif summary of my thoughts on the bible. I have many more thoughts on this topic that’ll share some other time. Feel free to share your thoughts with me. I love discussion. I love hearing other ideas and I would be happy to hear your input.
“There have been nearly 3000 Gods so far but only yours actually exists. The others are silly made up nonsense. But not yours. Yours is real.”
— Ricky Gervais
It’s clear to me as well that the Bible is simply a manmade book, like all other books. The cool thing is that one doesn’t need to believe in anthropomorphized deities or anything supernatural to be deeply spiritual. I call my own spirituality “secular spirituality,” because fundamentally I am agnostic, but I have a deep sense of wonder and reverence for the cosmos from which I derive a lot of meaning. I’ve written about my secular spirituality here and here if you’re curious.
I think you raise a conflict a LOT of individuals experience. Perhaps a “tribal” mentality drives the necessity to want to belong to a group with a shared vision and the romanticised idea of it beomes enticing, but then as you say, the deeper you really delve into understanding it all, the less it seems to make clear sense and, therefore, less romantic?
I was in a similar position 5-6 years ago. Don’t think I ever really believed in “God” but really was searching for some sort of divine intervention as it were. Dated a Mormon for a while and realised that living my life according to a few stories in a book didn’t sit well with me. I was always grateful for what I did learn however, values, principles etc and think my questioning just gave me a clearer sense of my own spirituality and what I wanted from life.
I don’t really associate with any specific religion nowadays, but get a lot of enjoyment from learning from a variety of cultures and practices etc. I suppose I just see the Bible as stories that people told at a time when you couldn’t really go out and “find yourself” like we can. Perhaps they were ordinary folk with an internal conflict and wrote the stories in a hope of reinforcing their own sense of purpose and understanding of the world? who knows lol
“I am highly skeptical about if the bible was approved by God himself, but I also see that there’s plenty of truth in there as well; I can’t ignore that. “
That is what muslims say about bible as well. Have you dewelled into Quran?
If you ever decide to look into it, I would highly recommend http://www.muhammad-asad.com/Message-of-Quran.pdf
This translation is written by a polyglot and lingusitic expertise is central to a reliable translation. Literal vs contextual. A lot of islamophobes used ‘literal’ instead of contextual. For example, out of love, if a parents tell their child, ‘oh you are soooo cute, I’m going to eat you up’
A literal person will label that parent as a cannibal while a contextual label will reflect the actual meaning.
The author of this translation, “Muhammad Asad, born Leopold Weiss; 12 July 1900 – 20 February 1992 was a Jewish-born Austro-Hungarianjournalist, traveler, writer, linguist, thinker, political theorist, diplomat and Islamic scholar.Asad was one of the most influential European Muslims of the 20th century” -wiki
May you find THE ONE you are searching for :)
My thoughts :
I was raised a Catholic school girl and our family was a pillar of the community, so I think I got the complete religious experience in a lot of ways. Despite my disgust with many aspects of the tradition which I will address, I feel it created a lot of positive things. Mainly, since everyone is viewed as a child of God, I had about 20 different mothers and fathers who treated me as their own child. I got such a wide variety of influences that gave me examples of how to survive and thrive and otherwise would have been left to fend for myself with only my parents’ narrow influence. The model of community was good. Also, its important to understand the power of archetypal symbols and how they can be leveraged in congregation.
I started rebelling when I was 12 by questioning and being encouraged by a more new age/mystical mentor and at 19 I was overcome by nihilistic and atheistic thoughts. They made me really sick, and eventually I recieved clarity that if something makes you want to puke or destroy your self, it’s not the Truth.
At 20 I realized how satanic it is to view God with only male imagery, and I spent the next few years sorting out a lot of dark things that were implanted into my mind about the place of women. I’m pretty sure I went all the way down the rabbit hole with that one, because most of the people who have mediated for that long on a mystical subject are male, using male imagery and male traditions. I also experienced 24/7 physical agony for a year and half during this time, which I literally prayed my way out of. That was my big “miracle”. I feel that the female body is designed to connect to The Divine in a way that Christianity does not teach. I still think women would be happier as wives and mothers over anything, but the divinity of the feminine needs a platform that isn’t “free the nipple” stampedes.
God is definitely real, and the classic phrase “no atheists in foxholes” is just true. Religious education seems to be an attempt to prevent someone from needing to have a foxhole experience to be in tune with Grace, Faith, Hope, Love etc. but those communities have also always been filled with megalomaniacs, frigid tyrants, and withered sheep. People do need shepherds and it is noble of *some* men to have preached and organized a moral code/written & promoted the Bible. Eventually you should graduate to building an authentic personal conscience, though. I think it’s a shame that people become atheists when they lose faith in religion. Faith doesn’t need to come from religion.
I think theres potential, many years in the future, for christianity to die out in the US and modernized culture. These topics are so highly debated but sometimes it can be beneficial to think of things as simply as possible:
Imagine explaining chrisitanity to a young child whos never heard of religion before. the first thing they’d likely repond with: “prove it.”
In a world where you cant even be shown a picture without thinking ‘oh, thats probably phtooshopped’, its becoming harder and harder to sell christianity. The development of science is any religion’s downfall. Personally, I believe religion still exists because theres a part of us, as humans, that subconsiously believe theres someone looking after us. Even though I could never fathom a god that interacts with us, I find myself wanting to ‘thank god’ after a stroke of good luck. Just an interesting personal note.