Backsliding toward belief?

By Sam ~

I recently (toward the beginning of this year) gave up the faith I had been raised in and which I had tried fervently to practice as a young adult, after a sort of mental breakdown in which I suddenly decided that the God I had been praying to and trusting was just an imaginary friend, and all the guilt I had been wallowing in was unnecessary.

Prior to this point, I had been obsessed with getting victory over "sin" in my life. Filled with despair and hopelessness at times, I was constantly living in fear about being out of control and being judged by society and by God. There is more, but I will spare you the sordid details of what my "faith" almost drove me to do.

Since turning my back on the "God" I had previously tried to know and to please, and since embracing that part of myself I had been repressing for so long, I feel as if things have changed for the better. I am no longer wracked with guilt and fear, and there is no longer the old inner "battle" that believers are so familiar with. Unbelief- what a relief!

However, as of late I have begun to experience pangs of doubt and fear about my decision to turn away from God. I had read books such as The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins to try to educate myself so that I wouldn't slip back into the old familiar (dis)comfort of belief, but I still have a couple of questions and concerns that nothing I've come across can answer to my satisfaction. I have seen that many people on the internet have asked the same questions, but all the replies I've seen don't seem to go deep enough to set my mind at ease. I will now express two of those questions.

First, I can grasp the theory of evolution, but one thing that bothers me is how much more advanced humans are than their primate cousins. The other apes are still living in the jungle playing with sticks and rocks, while we have mastered language, harnessed the electromagnetic spectrum and nuclear energy, and flown to the moon. Obviously my concern comes from the book of Genesis which says we were created "in the image of God", so from a faith-based point of view, that answers my question about why humans are so technologically advanced. However, if I am to be prevented from slipping back into belief, I will need a more rational explanation than this.

Second, there is a prophecy in the book of Daniel (Dan. 12:4) about human knowledge and technology being greatly increased as the "last days" come upon us. It has been demonstrated that knowledge indeed has been increasing exponentially, along with corresponding advances in science and technology. There are some who predict a "singularity" event that could happen soon. In addition to this, there are numerous prophecies in the new testament which seem to be pretty accurate concerning the state of humanity as it appears now. This worries me.

I feel like I'm a pendulum stuck in the middle of its swing between opposite polesI have a collection of Christian books that I used to read back when I had faith, and I have kept them in spite of my "apostasy", just in case I changed my mind and returned to my prior beliefs. One of these books which is a thorn in my side is A Mind Awake, an anthology of quotes from other books by C.S. Lewis. In it Lewis seems to demolish the arguments of the "New Atheists" like Dawkins, decades before people like Dawkins even came on the scene. Lately I have been perusing this book before going to bed.

I feel like I'm a pendulum stuck in the middle of its swing between opposite poles right now. I started out (as an infant) with no religious faith, then later on I developed faith, then still later I lost that faith. Now it seems like I could swing either way, and this frustrates me because my mind wants some kind of absolute to grasp on to. I am more open-minded now than I have ever been, and yet it doesn't really seem like a good thing, because I just don't know what to believe or disbelieve anymore. I feel like a blind man lost in a fog.