I am at war with myself. I was raised Baptist, a Christian. I was taught that the Bible is to be read literally, word for word. Noah put all the animals on the ark to repopulate the planet after the flood. Adam and Eve were the first human beings created by God. Moses parted the seas. It’s all true. Literally true.
Somehow I grew up most of my life never realizing the reality staring me in the face. These stories aren’t true. At least not literally. Noah didn’t fit two-hundred thousand species of animals on an ark. The entire Earth was not covered in water (although I do not doubt there may have been a large flood locally, resulting in these stories) and two human being weren’t dropped on the earth to inbreed and create the rest of us. How did I grow up believing these stories were literal? I was an adult before I decided for myself these stories were a real as Santa Clause.
I am in a battle with myself at this point. Honestly, I have not come to a conclusion about my own faith, but I have fully accepted the fact that the stories in the Bible are not literal. I find it troubling that I have not come to a conclusion about my faith. Am I a coward, too afraid to admit I do not believe in God? Or visa verse? These things I was taught for so long are so instilled in me that I can not let go – even if the truth is gazing in my eyes begging for me to see it. This is he indoctrination of my religion. If you are taught something for so long, without question, by everyone you know and love – it isn’t an easy thing to change inside yourself.
I can freely have religious debate and disagree with almost everything a practicing Christian will say, but I can never fully admit to myself that there is no God and that (s)he has no influence on my life today. I cannot and will not tell any Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or anyone else for that matter that they are wrong – their spirituality is as logical as mine – and their conviction probably stronger. I just know that I am open. I am open to listen and to learn and hopefully accept the truth when I find it.
It does bother me though, that my family is brainwashed. They can not and will not believe otherwise. If I show them the contradictions they may agree with me, but quickly dismiss it with a notion that “some things we just can’t understand” or that “only God knows” and suddenly they forget the contradictions they were just shown. I guess it’s a lot like understanding the Earth is round or “space-time” – only time can change our understanding and acceptance – regardless of truth. In time, I wonder how things will change. Will our future ancestors look back on us like we do those who believed in the Greek Gods? Will they think how silly we were to believe such stories? Yes.
I see all the contradictions. I am intelligent enough to rattle off an explanation to most of the “smoking-gun” arguments any religious person will use. But despite that – I can not say that there is no God. No creator. No resounding spirituality or life force that surrounds us. I can’t say that this is all there is or that we do not continue on after death in some way that I can’t grasp. Maybe we give ourselves too much credit. Maybe we, maybe I, understand a lot less than I would like to believe.
Space. Time. Energy. Past. Future. Life. Thought. Beginning. End. Infinity. Just questions. Any person that claims with absolute certainty that they know the truth – is living an absolute lie. I’ll just admit I’m searching. If there is an intelligent, observant, intervening God out there – I hope (s)he understands.
A few other posts regarding my thoughts on religion: