Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I want to believe

Right now I am not sure if I am a disbeliever a nonbeliever or an unbeliever.

In many ways I would like to believe again as I once did. I really do miss some aspects of being a Christian:
  • Certainty - although this can be over rated and probably isn’t too healthy.
  • Community - being with any group of like minded people and having friendships based on a deep spiritual understanding can be very rewarding, although there is a risk of such friendships being conditional on faith.
  • Personal development - learning about myself through learning more about God and being on the journey.
Of course, these are moot points as I don’t currently believe in God. Its not a deliberate choice, it just happened and its not something that can be conjured up. I have written extensively about this previously so I won’t go over it again except to say that my position has changed a bit over the past six months or so. I do see more of a spiritual aspect to life, but how that can fit in with my skeptical nature is unclear at the moment. Currently I am on a journey of discovery.

Looking back on my life I can see that I gained a great deal from my faith in God and relationship with Jesus, but I didn’t put very much back. That’s probably why, after I lost my faith, I found the small things in life much more precious than when I had been a full on born again Christian. As a Christian my main interest in people was whether or not they were a Christian and if they weren’t how I would share the Gospel with them with the aim of conversion. These days I enjoy getting to know people for their own sakes and am far less judgemental. I don’t think that my former way of thinking is unusual for Christians, but it does place a lower value on those who do not believe, which to me is very unlike the way Jesus treated people.

Earlier today I had an interesting meeting with Peter Anderson of Destiny Church who I have got to know through twitter. My odd background didn’t seem to faze him at all and it was an interesting discussion. Peter’s faith seems to be quite rounded with an interest in unconditional service to others rather than simply in church growth. An interesting and thought provoking encounter. Oh, and his church has an espresso machine, but lets not go there. Peter knows my espresso story and its best forgotten.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting post Gordon. Actually I have read many of your comments on eChurch and have found them very helpful.
    I was also a Christian but I seem to have developed differently to you. I started out unsure of my atheism, but having recently spent more time contemplating the alternatives I find that in fact it is my atheism that is strengthened. I do empathise howver with the reasons for your wanting to believe. The community, comfort, and certainty is still something I miss. However, in terms of personal development, I feel I am far more able to stretch my wings outside the confines of religion, and I find it one of the most liberating and satisfying things. Suddenly I have to rethink everything, and I have the freedom to arrive at solutions which work for me, rather than for someone or something else.

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  2. Yes, that has been my experience of unbelief too. Room to think for myself and a real sense of freedom.

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  3. Another fascinating post - thanks.

    I never really had a faith as such - I tried talking to god as a kid and got no reply which meant that either there wasn't one or it was me :-)

    Slightly erring towards the first option nowadays!

    ;-)

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