I’ve been reading a blog called The Friendly Christian lately. It was inspired by Hemant Mehta’s Friendly Atheist blog, which I also read regularly. The Friendly Christian blog has only been up for a few weeks. It’s a mixture of personal posts and questions about faith and doubt: something that I find very refreshing on a Christian website, most of which are full of arrogant certainty. Here’s a bit excerpted from today’s post:
I havenâ€™t yet shied away from being honest on this site. Today I will continue my streak.
Disclaimer: I am not looking for an excuse to abandon my faith nor am I having second thoughts about it. Relax.
I feel like God has blessed/cursed me. I feel like Iâ€™m currently able to view Christianity through the eyes of an Atheist. I see the â€œflaws.â€ I see the â€œholes.â€ The OT God seems much different from the NT God. I see the hypocrisy.
Itâ€™s unsettling and a bit troubling to me.
I find the disclaimer particularly enlightening. It reminds me of myself at earlier times in my life. Although he may not be activiely looking for a way to abandon his faith, his journey could very well lead him in that direction anyway.
I know that not everyone who goes through such an intense questioning phase will end up becoming an atheist, but I can’t help thinking that it will be very hard for The Friendly Christian to remain a Christian if he continues on this journey of self examination and questioning of the scriptures. I hope if he does not abandon his faith, that he is happier and more content in his beliefs than Mother Theresa was. Holding onto faith at all costs, even when it makes no sense to you and provides you with no comfort in your life, is ludicrous. Although many skeptics are, well, skeptical that holding onto faith for any reason is ludicrous, not everyone can come to that conclusion.
I’ve been reading a lot of evangelical Christian books lately, and stirring up a lot of my own old memories — both good and bad — and I’ve been thinking that there are a lot of reasons to hold onto faith that have nothing to do with objective reality. And not all of these reasons are always bad.
Disclaimer: I am not looking for an excuse to abandon my atheism nor am I having second thoughts about it. Relax.
I can’t unlearn everything I’ve learned since I stopped brainwashing myself with fundamentalist doctrines over and over and over again. I can’t imagine myself starting to believe in Santa again, either. (I was born again on Christmas eve, the same year that I’d earlier learned that Santa did not exist. Coincidence?)
Please don’t got to this site and post rude or condescending comments on the posts. This guy is being brave in coming out honestly about his doubts, and anyone who wants to comment on the site should respect his honest searching, even if it doesn’t lead him ulitmately to unbelief or formal skepticism. If you have snarky comments to make, please make them here.
As usual, I am thinking aloud about this topic because I’m not really sure what I think about it yet. Thanks for listening and I’m certainly interested in any discussion that ensues.