My coworkers, most family, and people who don’t know me intimately might be surprised to find that I struggle greatly with the Christian faith. I am not drawn to something else as much as it is a questioning of the worldview that forms our belief structure. I don’t always struggle with my faith, but here is some of what I wrestle with on a continual basis (normally throughout the day randomly, but especially at bedtime when trying to get to sleep). Keep in mind, I know the answers that we give for these within Christian circles and when debating nonbelievers. I am not looking for these answers. My point is that the answers don’t satisfy me fully and they leave me wondering if I am not missing something.
1. The holy trinity aspect. Is there one God or multiple gods? Are we going to be like God one day in terms of our eternal development? How can there be three distinct persons but one God? Is God a spirit (whatever that means, quantum physics? Another dimension?) or a physical being? Or all these?
2. The Old Testament tends to read like current science fiction when God shows up. Fire comes down and consumes people, altars, and sacrifices. Pillar of fire by night, cloud of smoke during the day. Separating the waters and walking through on dry land. Taking Elijah up into heaven on a chariot of fire. Staffs that turn into snakes. The plagues in Egypt. Control over nature. What am I supposed to do with all this when it is more easily explained using ancient alien theories than a supernatural God theory?
3. What about the ark of the covenant? Those two cherub wing tips reaching out to each other are where the voice of God would come from. This is explicit in the Old Testament. People died if they touched it and weren’t authorized. Cities/towns were plagued when it was captured. This thing is no joke. What was so awesome about the ark? Why did God use it to wreck havok and communicate with Israel?
4. What about the genocide that was sanctioned by God against entire towns and people groups? How do I reconcile that God with the lovey dubby God that is fed to us at church, through contemporary music, feel good Christian self help books, etc? Either God doesn’t change or He does. Christians can’t have it both ways. If He doesn’t change then the message today is not in line with the God of the Old Testament. If He does change then ‘say what’? Lucy, you gots some splaining to do.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. I wonder about a random listener who called in to one of the radio programs on Moody Bible Institutes station. She was a professor of anthropology or something like that. They were asking for listeners to call in who were not believers. She was so secure in her belief and comfortable with the knowledge she had. She finds listening to religious programming fascinating and helpful in her studies. I envy her.
I just don’t want to be the blind leading the blind. And yet, the alternative simply doesn’t make sense. There is no other worldview that I have looked at which makes better sense of the state of mankind as I observe it. But I feel like I am constantly missing the forrest for the tree.
Am I alone?