Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Friday, March 1

Losing faith

I'll be honest - I'm still struggling over this Daniel thing.

Mrs is adamant that her tutors are all good Christian people who have no hidden agenda or motive to undermine the scriptures yet their consensus is that Daniel was written late and the man himself was fictional.

Of course one man's consensus is another man's bleating of lemming-like sheep.

And yet their case is a powerful one.

But it causes me great trouble.  How can the book be an encouragement in time of persecution, if God did not in fact deliver Daniel from the lions?  And if Christ did not in fact come in person to meet the three in the furnace, then how does that encourage me to have faith that he will meet now?

I understand the logic about apocalyptic writing, I understand that it is like a parable that tells a truth through fictional events.  But it is not working for me. 

At this moment in time, I am basically losing my faith.  I have suddenly come to see the scriptures as having the same authority as the tales of King Arthur or Robin Hood.  Suddenly the Bible feels as reliable as the Quran or the Book of Mormon.

The comedian Jimmy Carr tells how he used to have faith but was once walking down the road and suddenly thought 'There is no God', and felt immediately released.  I am having a similar thing.  If I am honest, the main reason I continue to have faith is that this is all I know - I have never been otherwise - I don't know how to live and think and act as an atheist.  I don't know how to not have faith.

Also, I have had my little experiences, moments of religious ecstasy, moments of apparently answered prayer, moments when I have felt that God spoke to me in person.  But these can all be explained.

At this moment I am angry that I have been lied to for so long.  I feel I have founded my life on a fraud.  I want to abandon the faith and walk out, but don't quite have the courage and am concerned about the impact on the kids.  I feel that ALL of the springs on my trampoline (see previous post) have broken and dumped me on the floor below.  It feels like those days when I have had a massive row with the wife and it all seems pointless why carry on, and I've been standing looking at the inside of the front door thinking about walking out but never quite had the courage to do so, scared of the consequences and impact on my kids etc. 

Stepping back and looking at the situation as an outside oberver - it will be interesting to see what happens next.

  • Lose faith completely and leave the Christian life?
  • Continue in some empty shell of Christianity, doing all the stuff for lack of an alternative life model but feeling empty and sick with the hypocrisy of it all?
  • Find some accomodation with the late-Daniel theology and renew my faith?
  • Prove that the lemming-concensus is wrong and that the lions and fiery furnace were in fact real?
Watch this space.

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