I'm dealing with my spiritual identity and after reading a few posts around here, found this place to be a place of comfort of sorts.
Image by kevindooley via FlickrLike many others, I was raised in deeply Christian home and my particular flavor was that of the speaking in tongues and getting lost in the spirit. While the emotional state of those encounters were undeniably great(sorry for the lack of a better description), there was nothing to the religion. I've since moved beyond that hyperactive view of Christianity and taken the position of doing what's right because it's the right thing to do. Granted, things are often what you put into them, but either way, at 27 now and married for 4 years, I find myself searching and Christianity is showing itself to be more and more empty.
It should be noted that I remember the first crack in my faith was around 13 or 14 when we had a evangelist come in and say that there were other gospels floating around at the time the Gospels were written. At that early age, it floored me. No one told me there were other stories and at that age I accepted whatever was told of me. The Bible is the only Truth and only existence of said stories? Sure, Ok. When those doubts were voiced, it was said that those were the stories that God wanted us to know...
I've also been burned too many times by folks in the church. Some how people politely excuse political intrigue in the church as something that's part of the process. My dad, who was a youth pastor for 4 years at a church, found out he wasn't the youth pastor of that 350-400 member church by looking in the church bulletin and saw his farewell dinner on the itinerary that night. How many times is it okay to screw up someone's life and faith for you're own protection/advancement before it becomes not OK?
I'm also a student of history. As I've researched the political climate of the various stages in the story and the formation of the Christian faith. I've found there are literally a ton of important climate/culturally relevant information that is blatantly ignored in churches and would cause even the Cannon to interpreted differently.
The final crack over years and years of cracks -- the one that shattered my faith -- was the attempted suicide of my wife. She has suffered from major depressive disorder during the entirety of our relationship. Finally being diagnosed about two years into dating her. To those who have lived with a depressed spouse, then maybe you can identify, but if not, it is like watching someone drown slowly 5 feet away from you and you can't do a thing to help. I've tried. She's tried. We're still going to therapy and she's now up to anti-psychotic medication. Her heart is as huge as the sky. Always giving, always wanting the best for others and for me. She still calls herself a Christian and has some type of hope for the Afterlife. I can't stand the thought of a God that allows such suffering while the heart is so big and full of passion for Him. What does the faith offer? "You just gotta trust in Him..."
REALLY? Hmm. OK. Sorry, that's not working. We're losing our car because she had to quit her job due to the depression. We're on a slippery slope to lose the house next. What is life that you should live it dangling from a string, in hopes that one day, just maybe, one day it'll be kinda better...
This "trust" is only making our marriage more rocky. Only making the bills harder to pay. Only making the disparity between reality and faith further and further apart.
And if life never gets better? God's will. There. You can't argue that. Nobody knows God. Who are you to question?
Anyways, I guess that's it for now. I'm a very new at this and I guess I'm just wondering how, if any out there has had a similar experience, how they managed...
Because I'm pretty sure I'm done with the whole Christianity thing.
Filed Under: Testimonials