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Crippling Beliefs of Christianity

From Luke ~

Hello everyone!

I stumbled upon this website about a month ago as I was gathering information for a research paper. I was in the middle of Google-searching "The problem of Islam" when I discovered another suggested link titled "The problem of Christianity." Out of sheer curiosity, I clicked the link and was directed to this blog. Since my discovery of this site, I've read quite a handful of accounts from ex-evangelicals, and I have to say, my heart ached in sympathy as I read a lot of your extimonies. (Yeah, I know the lingo already :)

Ironically, I'm currently a freshman at a Bible College in California, but am more objective of my faith now than I ever have been, no longer allowing fear of man or divine judgement determine what I believe, but logic and reasoning.

Since I've become "saved"/"born again", I've actually experienced a lot of positive outcomes in my life. I was kind of a dead beat pot head before, but once God captivated me, there was suddenly a profound meaning and sense of calling in my life, a race to be run, and a Savior awaiting me at the finish line to say "well done, my good and faithful servant." I felt so redeemed, so set free in a lot of ways. I was on a spiritual honeymoon with Christ probably the first 6 months of my faith journey. But since then, things have gone downhill.

Recently, probably over the last eight months or so, my biggest issue (there's plenty of others, but I'll keep it simple) has been in regards to accepting that, GENEROUSLY speaking, about 75% of mankind, (at least those who are "accountable", different subject) is destined to a place of unrelenting torment. I've dabbled with annihilationism as well, which is less horrific, but still terrible nonetheless, and involves a lot of exegetical gymnastics. I've been telling myself that my sin soaked, totally depraved mind has no sense of Holy justice, it's my fallen sinful pride that's refusing to accept God's wrath as ultimately justified. "Who are you, o man, to talk back to God?"

What probably disturbs me more than this is knowing that God is fully sovereign in his work salvation, having "mercy on whom he has mercy, and hardens whom he wants to harden." Even if you're not a Calvinist, you still have to deal with God decreeing where you'll be born, (Acts 17:26), knowing full well whether or not the gospel has, or ever will penetrate the culture you're birthed in.

Just a taste of my ranting... Let me tell you why a Bible College student is venting on an ex Christian forum. I want insight from y'all! I've been meeting up with one of my main teachers sharing the stuff I've been briefly sharing with you, telling him how much I despise a lot of what I've come to believe, and he's actually been quite gracious, encouraging me to not being afraid of exploring different ideas, which shocked me. I wouldn't of dared reaching out to you guys a month ago, but now writing this doesn't even phase me. At this stage of my life, I'm still open to go either way - if Jesus is different from what I interpret Him to be, I'll keep on keepin on. But if I find truth in something else, I would be overwhelmingly relieved that mankind isn't doomed and an impending judgement day awaits us all. Also, no longer would I have to have an awkward separation from "worldly people". You know what I'm talking about ;)

The only issue is, I'm still overwhelmingly convinced by the Judeo-Christian worldview. Historically, though I haven't done a ton of research, you still have a dude named Jesus that likely existed, did some crazy shit in Israel, and some crazy shit exploded after he was allegedly executed publicly, how do you explain this? Everyone mass hallucinated at the same time? A few dudes moved a massive boulder and hid his body, proclaimed a fake message knowing they'd be killed for it? There's more arguments than that, I just haven't found anything overwhelming convincing that doesn't compromise historical fact.

Another thing that is convincing is more on a personal experience side of things, which I know is incredibly subjective and irrelevant to all of you, but I've still experienced some pretty supernatural things, and I don't know how I'll ever be able to explain them away.

Right now I'm kind of in a crappy spot, I really have no desire to serve this God, and I refuse to pascal-wager my way through life, it's too precious. Hope you guys can understand where I'm at, being very grounded in belief in Christianity, not wanting it to be real, just looking for evidence explaining it away.

Anyways, thank you guys, I'd love your feedback! Any books good for me to read?