Anonymous asked a question:
How do you believe when, pardon my french, you’ve been taught that everything about Jesus is bulls__t? I’d love to believe it, I really want to, it’s just hard to when you’ve been taught the opposite. Do I have to unlearn the foundation of my education?
Hey dear friend, to be truthful: you’re in the best place possible, with the single biggest advantage over someone who’s been raised in the church.
You get to be in a place where you’re starting with a hugely skeptical eye towards Christianity, which means that if God starts to lean in on you, you will have already encountered your biggest questions about faith. If only every Christian honestly encountered every doubt and argument and problem with Christian theology, with complete openness and abandon, then we might see how deep Christianity can really go.
Please do not think you have to unlearn anything you’ve learned. I suggest the opposite. Use your education to fairly weigh every piece of evidence you encounter. Keep digging into Christianity down to the bottom, to see that it’s both true and fulfilling, that it’s both intellectually coherent and existentially satisfying.
I grew up an atheist, and I’m so very grateful that I was at one end of the spectrum before I went to seminary. I got to see the strongest arguments from my atheist brothers and sisters, which helped me to solidify a more informed decision when I began to explore faith.
Every once in a while, I’ll plunge back into a spiral of atheist blogs and books and lectures, just to challenge myself on where I stand. It’s always disorienting, but ultimately I find that it never compels me to go back to atheism. Probably for some, it will. But for me, when I examine every “side” over and over again, I find that Christianity accommodates (doesn’t answer, no, but satisfactorily fills in) for all of life’s biggest questions.
I find that while Christian faith doesn’t always answer the why, that it can answer the how and what-now, that it’s a resource for our worth, our relationships, our mental health, our purpose, our pain. It tells us about a God who shows solidarity in our suffering, who both knows us yet loves us, who is the perfect beauty and fulfillment we long for. I find that God has a name, and knows ours, too.
Maybe you’ll discover the same thing, or maybe not. Yet you must know, you have the benefit of doubt at the crossroads of your journey, which means you will not travel blindly. This is a good thing.