It's time that I accepted it. I am at a full blown crisis point in my life. I've never felt better or more alive, and I've never been more uncertain of anything. I am a man of faith that relates more to those that claim no faith than those that do. I can't see almost any answers about God or anything else as anything more than a cop out anymore. The one man of faith, the one pastor, the one leader I do respect, is one of the most controversial figures of my religion. A lot of people can't stand him, and I can't understand why.
Five years ago, I nearly left my faith, and I'm at the same point again. I'm so hurt, so frustrated, and feel so rejected that I don't see any alternative. At the same time, my allegiance to the truth demands I not take any rash actions. At the same time as that, I'm forced to accept that everyone is just like me. No matter how much they want to say they care about what's true, they're also a cacophony of emotions and impulses and instincts and reactions and light and dark and grey, oh so much grey.
What's hilarious is that I didn't leave my faith because of a man who didn't make a logical argument, but he argued for truth in his very own way, the way that made no sense to those that were still stuck in the systems of power that they had so much invested in. So he was called a heretic, just as I was.
Regardless, I cannot keep being a Christian because I read a book five years ago. That's living in the past. I must move forward, and that requires research, thinking, living (the hardest part), and most of all, dissonance. I can't belong to a religion that requires me to violate the truth and the good that I know exists when we let go of power and control. I can't belong to any movement invested in any of those things.
Then I am reminded of the words of Jesus, when he describes the Kingdom of God as being the opposite of the systems of power. What a contrast to my experiences in the church. I can't help my nature, I can't help but be a threat to any power system that exists with people, and for that I've been rejected by most.
The most ironic part of all of this is that I resonate with newly proclaimed atheists and those that call themselves free thinkers the most, and I find in them something that my religion has lost, and something that I think of as being part of the character of God. Truth at any cost: personal, corporate, universal.
I'm not out to say Christianity is hypocritical and try to redefine it. Everyone does that. I can no longer make Christianity what I want it to be. I have to let it be what it is and move forward, and let the truth speak for itself.
Yes, I do still have faith. I have faith that something in Christianity is true. But to really seek truth, one must set aside their agenda, suspend their disbelief, and really consider things. Really talk to people about it, really become something new every day, really think about ideas and try to move beyond one's own framework. Attempt to be objective with other people.
Again, I always come back to what I believe the Kingdom of God is, and I think this is part of it. Others of my faith look at moral relativism, Evolution, other religions, atheism, philosophy and science and they see enemies of the faith. Some even turn it around and look at mainstream Christianity or the mainstream of any religion and call it the enemy. I'm much closer to that one.
The truth is, none of those things have a corner on the truth, because it's far, far too vast. We have to stop knee jerking and really think through things, really come to what we believe over and over again, if we're going to figure anything out at all.
My religion uses apologetics to defend the faith. I find apologetics to be useless. I think instead that they should tear down their presuppositions, and make a habit of doing it every day so there is no more pointless arguing, and we can sit at the table with angry people, people that think we're wrong, people that think we're right, people of conviction, and we can have an actual conversation instead of falling victim to our own confirmation biases constantly.
Do not fear deconstruction, even though it is a scary thing to who we are as humans. Embrace it, and remember that the fear you're feeling isn't conviction, it's dissonance. Embrace the chaos, deconstruct it all, and look at all of it laid out. Live in your crisis, in your sense of destruction, because you'll rise again stronger.