“Good morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test, this is my rockin blog!” The place where I’ve been plastering about a year’s worth of some pretty heavy thinking. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea but it’s a place to be challenged, uplifted, and perhaps even a chance to reach out to a few others that have a similar story to tell. What is my story? My story involves a former commitment to Christianity that I was quite sure would never wane until it actually did!
It was a knowledge crisis that gradually blossomed into a clean break from my former faith commitment. What was the primary motivation of this choice? It was the rather heavy realization that skepticism is actually justified to use when evaluating what faith is defined to be within religion.
In the post before this one titled: Metaphysical Madness, I set out to address the first of five major flaws that I believe are a bit detrimental within a pursuit of pure knowledge. Pure knowledge in my mind simply boils down to discerning what is clear and not so clear within this world. To reflect pure knowledge is the exercise of leveling out one’s playing field so as to identify what is certain on a personal level as well as on a general human level. So it is that my second contention about having faith in the unseen is that most religions understand this as an unbreakable commitment to God.
Faith carries within it the idea of an unbreakable covenantal relationship. In other words, it is a call to complete allegiance in spite of any evidence that may be given to the contrary.
Is anyone else seeing some potential problems within this mentality? I find myself daily wondering whether I should come down so hard against the mindset of many of my Christian friends? After all, they know that I am just a tinge passionate about this subject. I was a former Evangelical Christian for Pete’s sake! The fact of the matter is that so are many of the people that I still care about.
My rather unorthodox strategy is to keep myself firmly involved in the debate about religion. It is to boldly stand my ground and challenge other serious thinkers with the same brutal questions that have arisen out of my own knowledge crisis. I try not to beat up my friends too much with these questions but I want to gauge how interested they are in putting their most cherished ideas into the furnace as well?
If they come out of it still filled with faith then I will respect them for at least illustrating that they too value critical thinking and skepticism. I will respectfully disagree, that is unless and until belief can shine as being justified in accordance with what I know. That is the kicker for myself as well as many others in this modern day!
If people are committing to a God that they have neither seen, heard, or reliably detected only on the basis of the authority from which Jesus and the Apostles are said to have had, then both my problem and theirs is that this kind of basis for belief is no different than the basis for belief in Islam, Hinduism, or Judaism minus a Jesus!
This is a problem, a real crisis if and only if we care about what is actually true within this life! In other words, to claim knowledge in this regard is not a game especially if these religions contain clear warnings against unbelief and apostasy, which they do! If we as human beings are born into a context that does not favor or reliably demonstrate clear intervention from a God or gods, then what justification is their to believe?
What reason have any of us to play favorites in this regard? Is it only on the basis that we find the good news of Jesus to be motivating and emotionally satisfying? Is that the payout here? If the payout is only comfort and an emotional connection then by all means I would probably be at church right now balling my eyes out! I reveled in the idea that an invisible being was leading me, guiding me, loving me, and empowering me to live differently. The ideology was pretty fascinating but that is all it ever proved to be in my life.
So when will humanity ever deserve the right to know something rather than to simply think it? Rather than to respond to authority only? This is what will determine our allegiances in life.
Good Morning Vietnam Best Scenes. Prod. BadfishKoo. YouTube. Web. 27 January 2014.