Stumbling around on the net I got to thinking about my days in Hawaii long ago--mid 1980's--and I remembered the name of this super intelligent YFC (youth for christ) leader who led me to getting "born again." To my surprise, some 30 years later, he's still a leader in YFC and still on message--as I discovered listening to a recent podcast of his.
"But he's too smart to still be believing all that," I thought as I listened to the podcast. His spiel was always so logically laid out. He had been a debate champion and it was evidenced in his ability to make Christianity seem so rational and coherent.
But in time I left the fold. My questions continued to be unanswered, especially once out of earshot of those really persuasive Christian ideologues. The message of Christianity was not rational or coherent. It was full of circular reasoning. Jesus--lord, saviour, personal friend, the be all and end all--but why then if he was all that did he cease to exist as a distinct entity apart from the community of believers. God works through his followers... Er, no his followers do their "thang" and then claim or genuinely believe somehow it is God working through them.
I was always a moral person, if I can be so presumptuous. I believed in "doing good" and doing the right thing. I couldn't really understand how people could be bad although later in life I could see how people caused hurt to others inadvertently. I bought the good Catholic thing and the good born again Christian thing.
But then, as I gay person, I was by the logic of Christianity fundamentally and willfully partaking in a life of sin. Christianity would not resolve this contradiction. I could continue to "be good" and forsake my longings which seemed so deep and fundamental to who I was. No, actually I could not do that. How could a faith be so supreme and not be able to reconcile a matter so fundamental? Clearly there was something wrong with this picture. God is love but God condemns me for loving?
For years I hung on, going to Church, joining bible groups, praying... Praying was the biggest joke of all. Of all things Christian, that was the thing that made the least bit of sense. You say or think some words in a solemn way and God does something for you, or he doesn't and he doesn't because he knows what's best without your asking... So why bother to ask. Why the charade??
What has really come to make sense in time is the understanding that religion is a construct of man, by man for man and to control man. That's the plain and simple truth. We have these elaborate constructs called religion and they are all little different from believing in Santa Claus. So many people organize their lives around something which is essentially make believe--pretend.
I guess that youth leader in Hawaii is such a good persuader that he even persuaded himself. 30 years later he still believes the myth.
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