(((Reposting 4/28/17 from last year)))
Brad Pitt, “Eat your heart out”
Hi there. I recently had the pleasure of responding to a few questions from a fellow blogger named Dax who has a PhD from a Christian College and is in Ministry. His aim was to do a Blog Post about me, a Deconvert from Christianity, and ask me some questions that might “Open” and unpack the issues and reasons for my departure from the Faith I held for 34 yrs proclaimed for 25 yrs in Avocational Ministry of various roles. You can read his Blog Post HERE. It should have been “Why I Left the Faith”, but I’ll give him that… it’s his post and I didn’t think it was unfair at all. I kind of liked the post. It was after all, All About Me
His blog, Infected Saint, is HERE if you’d like to check him out. He seems to be a serious person and thinker. Although we may disagree on certain issues from perspectives of where we both are on our journey’s, I have generally found him to be clever, insightful and intelligent in conversation and tone. A pleasure to exchange with in the spirit of mutual respect and inquiry. Thank you once again Dax for allowing me the opportunity to share just a part of my Journey.
Here are the His Questions and My Answers:
1. What do you consider yourself and would you please explain what it means to you?
*** what I am asking here is do you consider yourself an atheist or agnostic or something else and what do you mean by that.
I don’t really know how i would Identify. as least not at this point in time. i don’t think i’m atheist because i still believe there ‘might’ be a god/gods, but i no longer believe we would ever know it if there were, nor would we be able to demonstrate their existence in the ‘real’ world. i guess for me, at least for now, the question becomes irrelevant. Who am i now? I’m just me, like i’ve always been. That’s who I am.
2. You were one time in the Christian Faith. Could you explain how you came to be part of the Christian Faith and how committed would you say you were to the faith?
Yes, I was a christian/disciple of Jesus for 34 yrs, 25 of those in what i will refer to as ‘Avocational’ ministry of various forms. From teaching, evangelism (street and otherwise), international missions in two different countries and the US in the inner cities of the phoenix AZ area (gangs and kids pre-gang). I’ve led home groups, led worship in small groups, outreach and church settings and have discipled men (my personal forte and passion for the last 20 years). I’d say i was about as committed and flexible a ‘disciple of Jesus’ I’ve ever known without remaining a celebate, lifelong missionary in a third world country. I’ll match my ministry C.V. to anyone, any day.
3. Why did you leave the faith? Would you describe that journey?
Evidence. Evidence had convinced me that i had been wrong about the very foundations of the Truth Claims and claims to Archaeological/Historical accuracy and the Textural Integrity of the Bible as a whole as God’s Word. to quote a verse slightly modified, “If the foundations be destroyed…” what is a christian to do but deconvert?
4. What is your take on Christians today? If you had then all gathered up in a room to listen to you what would you say?
My take on Christians today? I would hope they are like me, asking questions and searching for answers, even if those answers lead them away from what they believed as irrefutable and incontrovertible Truth. What would I say? Don’t be afraid to Think, read and question for yourself. Don’t ever stop growing in your knowledge and curiosity of the world around you and how you fit into it. Overall, Think for yourself and don’t let anyone tell you to just accept the answers you are given.
5. What advice would you give Christians on dialoging with those they disagree with?
Be respectful, diligent and courteous. listen and allow yourself to think thru the questions and the answers from both positions. “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. be open and ready to learn, but also ready to express and exchange what you hold to be true.
6. If Christianity is a farce why do you think millions and millions have followed it since the time of Jesus, many even to their deaths?
Millions of people believing something to be true, “even unto death” is not evidence of it actually being true. realize, there are millions of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus who have also lived and died for the Truth of their beliefs. would you concede the same ‘value’ to their convictions that they are true beliefs? i’m not sure you would.
((( That’s my best attempt at answering your questions. I hope i’ve done my part of the conversation and it is helpful for you and those who read on your blog. Thank you again for the opportunity. -KIA )))
Dax’s response to my answers requesting Clarification:
Yes thanks. The only change would be question #6. I am actually not asking that apologetically, like I am trying to persuade. I was more coming from the angle of why do you think millions and millions follow even to death? What do you think leads to such dedication if faith not genuine. I was interested in your opinion
And my Clarification based on his request:
“Genuineness of faith is not the issue. The truth of what one believes is. I can only answer for myself and possibly you can apply liberally.
They believe, as I believed, and do such things, as I did, because they believe with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength that what they believe is actually true. No one questions or should question the genuineness of such a ones faith. It’s a malformed question that leads to the answer I gave for what I understood as the implied end of the question.
People do amazing things everyday for beliefs that are the most absurd. Take the bombing of the WTC and more recently Paris in November and Brussels a couple of days ago. It lends no evidence or credence to the truth of ones convictions or beliefs that one is willing to die for them. Thus my original answer.
I hope that clarifies it a bit more.”
I do encourage all to go to his blog and comment, like and if so inclined, Subscribe. I still believe dialogue, discussion and open, free exchange and engagement is the best way to break down barriers and understand each other.
There are so many bloggers out there in the so-called “Christian Internet Apologetics” blogosphere who pay only slight lip service to what they claim. They claim to be places of Ideas, Answers and Interchange for Doubters, Skeptics and Thinkers. Instead, they offer censorship and Passive Aggressive Bullying to those who won’t submit.
I believe, I hope it to be the case, that Dax is of the sort to stay open and conversant enough with those who disagree with him that he is able to listen and understand the real issues underlying the Reasons I and others have Left “The Faith once delivered” after many years and even, in my case, decades as followers of Jesus.
Thank you for reading and following my journey as The Recovering Know It All.