Losing My Religion – Part 8 June 10, 2009Posted by Matt in Losing My Religion.
Tags: apologetics, belief, Bible, defense, existence, god, questioning, truth
Or, Is There Anybody Out There?
As has been previously mentioned in earlier posts, I was raised in a church environment that often proclaimed the ironclad truth of scripture and the perfect nature of God’s will. Thus questioning the veracity of the Bible or the supposed actions of God was often looked down upon as a sort of weakness that must be overcome. It was as if the slippery slope to militant atheism began with even the most innocuous of questions regarding the scriptures.
Later on, in my college years, many of my long-held, heavily fortified beliefs began to spring leaks. Naturally, as I began to see teachings that were bestrewn with folly, my thinking became more and more defensive and, as I tried in desperate futility to plug the leaks, it became clear that I would need outside help. My mind was filled with questions regarding everything from doctrine to Biblical events to the nature of God, Itself, and I knew, just knew, that there must be some form of absolute proof to be found. Thus began my obsession with apologetic literature.
Apologetics are certainly interesting reads as authors attempt to make a stalwart defense for things like the Bible and God and I rabidly devoured them one after another. I worked my way through authors like CS Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Josh McDowell, and the recently popular Lee Strobel, as I worked to build a concrete foundation of absolute truth using the various evidences touted by these authors and others.
But my reading did not stop with authors such as these, no, armed with the supposed truths and proofs of God, I began to tackle other works – some from other religions, some from humanist philosophers and some from the most stalwart of atheists – and as I read through these tomes proclaiming ideas that conflicted with those I had long accepted, confusion reigned. For every argument in support of the Bible or the existence of God, there existed others disputing them that seemed just as convincing. So, I began to realize that God was beyond proof. Belief was illogical.
And that was okay.
There is something about mankind believing in something bigger than themselves that just seems right, despite our scientific observations and logical conclusions. I do not have proof of God’s existence, nor do I have concrete reasoning of His/Her absence, and today I am fine with that. Belief and faith and love are abstract concepts existing outside of this supposed sphere of the concrete, but they are no less real. And so we cling to them and look above amid the storms plaguing this mortal coil, for that is all that we can do in the uncertainty of life. I might question the existence of God every day of my life, and sometimes I may even come to an near-agnostic conclusion of uncertainty, yet still I cling.
My view could probably best be found in this rephrased quote of Socrates: “The unexamined God is not worth following.”