Getting Personal With Christianity
I am a Christian
It has not always been easy to say that I am a Christian because I have not always considered myself one. Doubt has played a large part in questioning what I was supposed to believe as I grew up. There may be others out there that have experienced the doubt that I experienced and that is the purpose of this article: to share and maybe help identify and overcome doubt.
The Absurdity of Christianity
The first thing that I called into question (still causing me reflection) is the conception and birth of Christ. It wasn't that I thought that Christ was anyone but a upstanding person, but his mother I always called into question.
In my logical mind, it made no sense that Mary was a virgin. I thought it was a rouse that she used to trick her betrothed husband Joseph in to marrying her. He was too enamored with her charm to see that she has committed fornication and ended up having a dream about her, Mary, and the child because he truly did love her. His love for her caused him subconsciously to excuse her behavior and make up some delusion so that he could still feel good about marrying her.
It made no sense to me, so I put it out of my head and just accepted that part of the Christian experience as lore of the religion. It, of course, created doubt in my mind each time Christmas would role around and people spoke of the virgin Mary. I was too afraid of God (Whom I did not know at the time personally) to say anything about my issues.
Mary was not this upstanding person that we were all supposed to revere as the mother of God. She just stopped Jesus from being born a bastard! At least that is what went through my head.
Even after I had found God and converted to Christ, I could not reconcile theses long held feelings of doubt in the very story that set Jesus apart from all men and women born. Some how, I was supposed to accept that the Spirit of the Lord rested upon Mary as the presence of the Father overshadowed her.
Absurd! Who in their right mind would believe that? I know I experienced serious cognitive dissonance regarding the issue. The bastard child ended up becoming the most important and influential religious leader and icon of all time!
Of course, I would not dare share my view with any person. In fact, this article is the first time that I have admitted that those feelings ever went through my mind. It was almost as if some unseen influence continually pressed this issue upon my heart to cause me to question my faith.
The Price of Doubt
Youths, such as was I, do not have fully developed frontal lobes and are prone to make rash decisions. Doubt can cause great calamity in youths whose frontal lobes can take up to 25-years-old to mature.
Why do I mention this? The frontal lobe is associated with the decision and reasoning functions of the brain. Because I was such a young person the conclusions that I reached were very unpredictable and not necessarily based in reality. I suppose that could be said of some adults!
The price that I paid for doubt was losing my confidence that Christianity was correct. I left the faith after some scandal with some church that involved adultery. (I do not remember who and where.) I concluded that if the servants of God could not even live the religion that it must not be true.
I was an evolved ape!
I read in the Holy Bible where such things as adultery were incorrect. Thanks to some of my high school teachers, religion was cultural I learned. It made sense to discard old cultural beliefs that had even become outdated with clergy.
It was not too difficult for me to come to that conclusion since the doubt of Christ's validity whispered in the back of my mind. I made a rash judgement of the faith of my youth, which I did not understand enough to make such a judgement. I went further and decided God did not exist.
It followed that I would come to such a conclusion rather than accept the notion that I no longer had direction because without God, life had no meaning. Without my Christian heritage, what was there? I was an evolved ape! I had no divine nature.
The only problem with that new belief was that the evil that had lurked in the background never stopped whispering in my ear new things to confuse my still developing lobe.
Doubting My Doubts
Man (women too) is a creature of habit and needs to have such patterns so that he can live without fear. We humans have it in our very natures to worship something. Think about it. Even atheist worship something.
What I mean by worship is to give great time and devotion. I needed to have something to give my devotion since I then relieved God of that attention. Being a teenage youth at the time of the crisis I did what any American teen boy would do. I worshiped at the alter of girls and friends.
I let my hormones do the talking and my brain marinate in stupidity. Now, as I worshiped at the alter of this new god of mine, I did not do anything that caused me to lose my chastity. I did not know how to find any girls to accomplish that--not for lack of trying. I wanted to hang with the cool crowd.
I went to my cousin Terry and revealed to him that I wanted to have sex with a girl and figured he could tell me what to do about that. He was an attractive guy and appeared as if he could get any girl he wanted. I figured he could provide me with some tips. I did not know he was Christian at the time, but I was desperate to remove the title of virgin and he was my last resort.
Instead of laughing at me, he took me on an adventure around town with the idea in my mind that he would somehow magically de-virgin-ate me. At the end of the night I ended up drunk and beaten. That's another story.
It was not Terry's fault those things happened to me, but he successfully purged my thoughts about sex that day before the drinking and beating happened without saying a word for or against premarital sex. For that I thank him.
The next day, I started to rethink my exclusion of God. I decided that there must be a higher power. I figured that this higher power had very little to do with us humans, but it did exist and arbitrarily intervened at his or her pleasure. We were mere play things.
It is interesting how a cray experience one night can cause the very underpinnings of my faith to shift. Faith in nos a stationary thing I submit. It is an ever-changing and moving psychological structure. The mental gymnastics to have faith in Christianity required much training on my part.
You Weigh In
Have you ever had a question about your faith that you had a hard time accepting?
© 2014 Rodric Anthony Johnson