Friday, September 13, 2013

What makes you doubt Christianity? (Yes, I'm asking you)

Not too long ago, Peter Enns wrote a blog in which he asked people what issues they struggle with in their faith walks.

I would like to do the same. I am not planning to write a response to each one, but the answers provided will probably inspire reflections. However, I do plan to respond with suggestions of people to study on each topic.

What makes faith hard for you?
What issues do you struggle with?
What makes you tempted to walk away from Christianity?
What makes you doubt?
What makes you frustrated at God?
If you're not a Christian, what are the most significant parts of Christianity that make it hard to embrace?
If you were a Christian but aren't anymore, what made you walk away?

Please, comment in the box below or email me at johndanielwashere@gmail.com with your answers!

1 comment:

  1. My initial struggles with faith came more as struggles with Christianity than with God. I realized that much of what I had come to label as God was, in fact, man-made and man-contrived. Donald Miller discusses this a little in his book 'Searching for God Knows What.' Many times when we attribute certain characteristics, ideas or even theologies or doctrines to God, we create an idol. We create a god who can't perform the way we expect Him to. One word: cancer. Another word: AIDS. I mean, seriously, God: what the fuck? It's difficult to solve the paradox of, what appear to be, evil things from a non-evil God. The classic, "why do bad things happen to good people," question used to be one that I dismissed very easily until my uncle was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. When I characterize God as a god who prevents horrible things from happening to not so horrible people, I get a little tripped up. When I generally thought of God as a republican, I got tripped up. When I generally thought of God as a charismatic, I got tripped up. When I thought of God as a God who punishes someone forever for not having ever heard the name of Jesus, I got tripped up. Essentially, each time that I grew into a new understanding of who God is, it was preceded by a moment of disequilibrium accompanied by doubt and a breakdown of my god that I'd built up.
    Currently, I have a hard time in my faith mostly because I can't connect with most Christians, at least not fully. Whether it's because many Christians I know have wacky politics (I can deal with someone having differing views than me, but ill-thought-out views with little to back it up other than a faulty reading of the Bible make me want to fight), whether it's because they're weird, or because their understandings of God are predicated on a version of God that I don't believe exists, I find myself repelled more than drawn in by most Christians. This may have much more to do with where I live geographically than anything else, but still, I feel like I'm in a minority.
    In Dietrich Bonhoeffer's 'Life Together,' the idea that, in matters of community, nothing matters but Jesus really resonated with me. I don't want to care if you're one of these 'let's plan a spontaneous worship service that lasts for 2 hours and incorporates a lot of romantic language and claim that supernatural things are happening' type of folks; I don't want to care if you're a Tea Party member; I don't want to care if your favorite band is Mumford and Sons; I don't want to care if you make a weird face about my music/film/book preferences. But somehow, feeling like Charismatic Evangelical Christian culture all takes on a homogenous aesthetic, I feel very much like a not cool kid around most of the Christians around here and it causes me to reject Christian community more than search for it or create it. My tendency to isolate and avoid large homogenous groups probably adds to this.

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