Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Because I'm Not Afraid

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (1 Cor. 13:11)

Before I went to college, I believed many things.
I considered myself a Republican.
I thought gay marriage should be illegal.
I agreed with the statement, "the Bible says it; I believe it; that settles it."
I thought Job was an actual historical figure.
I didn't think there were any contradictions in the Bible.
I thought everything in Genesis 1-11 was literal history, and that evolution is just secular science that opposes God.
I thought that hell was forever, and that all homosexuals are going to hell.
I thought that it was bad for people not to speak in tongues.
I thought that it was bad to be Catholic.
I agreed with the Just War theory, and with capital punishment.
I thought that God knows everything that is ever going to happen in the future.

I could go on, but you get it.

Now, I am a Christianarchist, and would never consider myself conservative or Republican.
I think gay marriage should be legal.
I have a very different perspective on Scripture.
I no longer think Job was a real person, nor do I think much of Genesis 1-11 is literal history.
I recognize the contradictions in Scripture, and they don't bother me because I no longer operate under an inerrantist mindset.
I believe in universal reconciliation.
I think a lot of conservative Christians are going to be surprised at how many homosexuals end up in heaven.
I don't speak in tongues, and I don't have a problem with that.
I love a lot of Catholic theologians and respect devout Catholics.
I am a pacifist.
and I am an open theist.

It's not that I was brain-washed into being liberal. I'm graduating this December from Pat Robertson's school!
It's not that I hung out with the wrong people and they inspired me to compromise all my beliefs.
It's not that I live in sin and compromise my beliefs because of that.
It's not that I hate my parents and rejected everything they ever taught me. I couldn't love my parents more. Besides, they didn't teach me all of the things listed at the top.
It's not that I got involved with a bunch of liberals and they changed me. Most of my friends are much more conservative in these areas than I am.
It's not that I jumped to the other extreme. You might call me a liberal, but I don't like being on one side of the fence.

It's because I search for truth.
It's because I'm not afraid to change what I believe based on what I find.
It's because I learned how to use doubt productively, instead of calling it fear or sin and ignoring it.
It's because I asked questions, and, instead of embracing "mystery," I went deeper to find answers.
It's because I'm not okay with pat answers, and believing things that don't make any sense, or believing things because that's what the people around me believe, or believing things because it's "orthodox," or believing things because that's the way the people around me interpret the Bible.
It's because I'm not okay with rejecting critique of my beliefs simply because it might result in me changing what I believe.
It's because I don't want to be naive. I don't want to live in an ignorant bliss.

Am I going to be an open theist forever? Am I going to be a universalist forever? I don't know. Possibly not. The future is open ;)
I think open theism is true. I think universal reconciliation is true. But does that mean I'm not open to changing that in the future? No.
If what I find in my search for truth points away from one of my beliefs, I will re-evaluate.

I know I'm not always this way. We all have our caves.
I know I am stubborn in ways, and unwavering in many of my beliefs.
But for the most part, I try to be genuinely always reforming.
My problem with the statement, "Reformed and always reforming," is that it is mostly used by people who don't actually do any reforming.

My main point with this blog is this:
Don't be stubborn with your beliefs.
Don't reject a radically different view simply because it's radically different.
Don't get too comfortable with your ideology that you reject all others simply because they don't fit.
Question your views.
Question your interpretations of Scripture.
Consider other viewpoints.
Consider your critics.
Consider views that you find daunting.
If you don't, there's a good chance you'll end up in an ignorant bliss--one that you call 'biblical truth' but is really naivete.

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