Do you want to know how to sound like a devil? Just start thinking for yourself without fear of where you will ultimately rest your own gavel of truth. Deviating from the norm is scary and I can personally attest to the consequences. That being said, I feel compelled to address what I believe to be a great misconception.
The audience that I am addressing are conservative Evangelical Christians. This is the fold that I have openly dissented from and many of my closest friends undoubtedly believe that I have been corrupted and led away by sin. I have a few strong contentions about this.
One such contention is that strict adherence to your faith tradition demands that you label me an apostate! The Bible teaches believers to shun and announce God’s condemnation on all who openly dissent. You must automatically remain unsympathetic toward my plight.
A second contention that I have is that so many Christians are unwilling to consider that their source of moral authority and direction could very well be flawed. There is an unwillingness to evaluate and compare Biblical morality with other perspectives so as to rule out whether there are better, healthier alternatives to consider.
This leads to confirmation bias. A bias that is built directly into accepting the Bible as inspired as well as buying into human depravity. Every single person that rejects inspiration and authority is automatically moved into a morally deviant category. Why? Well, because one ancient document says that human beings suppress the truth in their unrighteousness.
This is asserting something very interesting about all human beings. It asserts that people are without excuse because the God of Christianity is objective within creation as well as within the collective human conscious. 1) How is an invisible undetected being in any way objective? One of the vaguest notions I’ve ever read is the quote from Romans 1:20 where it says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Take just a moment to ponder this verse with me by surveying every other competing body of beliefs. What is the more objective stance to take? 1) Romans 1 teaches that all human beings are distinctly aware of the one true God so that about sums it up, (consequently humans are just being dishonest) or, 2) The fact that there are literally thousands of other competing religious ideas negates this notion that all human beings are somehow aware of the Bible’s God.
I go with option number two. I do this because it is clear to me that such variety is far more likely to stem from a collective demonstration that human beings are agnostic and undefined about religion. Each culture puts its own unique spin on how to picture, define, and worship invisible divine beings. These beliefs are for the most part rather ancient and uninformed by science and other modern forms of philosophy and critical thinking.
Those who dissent could be led away by sin. Sin, a kind of immaterial infection that darkens the human condition. It’s a little bit like being transformed into a Zombie or a Vampire once you’ve tasted the forbidden fruit. All of one’s faculties are overtaken and bent toward destruction.
Let us all take time to deeply consider how healthy such a perspective is. Is it truly helpful? Is it truly beneficial? Must we create a scenario for salvation that is all too short reaching? Conservative estimates on heaven and hell paint a picture where statistically speaking, hell wins! It receives far many more loyal members. How sad, how depressing and wasteful of an actual God to create such a scenario for us all. It becomes a mark of a pure lack of inspiration through and through. Wisdom is no where to be found.
Once one has exhausted all of the hallmarks of what they personally think makes Christianity compelling, I wonder, I really wonder if a fair hearing has been done to the contrary? Is it possible that an acceptance of Biblical inspiration is a kind of intellectual blindfold? A refusal to reconsider the overall plight of human beings at large?
Is it possible that fear of deviating from one’s own faith community, from one’s own family, from one’s own personal preferences is a stumbling block to acknowledging the truth? No matter, and I mean no matter where it leads? Time will tell. This is an advancing and progressing world. There are many factors at play now that were not at play thousands of years ago.
It makes me sound like a slithering serpent in an ancient garden all because I’ve asked some of life’s most pointed and honest questions. This world has truly brought me to conclude differently. The world that my feet are standing in. A world in which division thrives among churches of every faith tradition. I think it is due to a refusal to reevaluate the past.