sent in by Charles
This is a letter that I am sending to my Pastor.
Searching For Truth
Three months ago I was asked what I believed, but I did not get a chance to really answer you. I am writing this letter so I can fully describe the changes I have gone through. It is not enough to say that I am a struggling Christian, I need to share with you all the events this past year, which have shaped my views. I am a curious soul and have always been one. As a child I would take apart every mechanical toy I had to understand how things really worked. I have carried that pursuit with me throughout my life and not much has changed in that regard. My views have evolved more than once, and to some it may even appear as fickleness. Although it is better to change one’s mind then continue in the wrong path. My views and what I believe about Christianity has shifted much because of quarrels between Pastors and Theologians. I began as an Arminian and later became a Calvinist. The process of moving from one Theology to another was an extremely difficult time, and left me in the crosshairs of confusion. It was difficult but it helped me to understand the many sensitive issues that surrounded the topic of God. Studying Arminianism was like a toy that I was taking apart to see what was really there, and the same with Calvinism. I chose to be a Calvinist because it agreed with the scriptures unlike much of the Free-will theology. I felt like I had made a great leap into understanding God’s mind and His wonderful Love toward His Elect. It was a honor to know that God was revealing to me the truth that was being held back form others who were consumed with protecting man’s absolute freedom and enslaving God to their demands.
Before the great leap into the mind of God, things were much more simple. Simple, because I was much like a sheep, “simple minded at best”, and content with obeying whatever I was herald into believing. Then a seed of truth was revealed to me. My mind had a great awakening, and I was on the verge of thinking for myself. That seed of truth was not Christ, but Doubt. I started to question what I was being taught, even though I did not openly express my concerns. Like many other who have these questions but refuse to deal with them, I was doing my best to flee from the thoughts as well. I tried to memorize scripture to defeat my sinful flesh and to take captive every thought into the obedience to Christ. I struggled and suffered, and I knew the dangers of questioning. It can cause a person to walk away from Christ, to fall into sin. I was up in arms about this. I started a Bible Study with a friend from Church, and spent many hours praying. I was reading the Bible like it was a life support system and my only hope. I was so afraid of the poison of Doubt building up within me.
Then I notice what was causing the doubt, it was actually coming from reading the Bible. The doctrine of Predestination was destroying my faith in God. Calvinism, which is clearly taught in the Bible, had brought up many questions. Some questions were very emotional for me even to consider, but the drive for truth pushed for answers. The Bible states that God does everything for his Glory, even allowing people to go to Hell for all eternity. I had to ask myself, “what if my baby brother, or sisters are not elected unto heaven?” Could I honestly praise God for His abundant mercy, being fully aware of the pain He is now putting my family through and all for the praise of His Glory? If all is predestined for some final end and that is ultimately for God’s Glory, does that include Sin? Why would God allow sin to come into the world? Was God not in control? Why would God put the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil in the garden? Some want to say that it was a test to see what man would do, but doesn’t God already know all things. Can I really call God all loving after He puts the tree of Knowledge in the Garden so Adam and Eve will fall into sin? God told them to not eat of the Fruit, well, up to that point Adam and Eve had no knowledge of death, sin or punishment. They were like babies. They were clueless, but yet they are blamed for their ignorance. I know that you will say, have faith or that my view is some awful distortion of the truth. I am simply following what the Bible teaches. If God is in control of all things, including the actions of men, then Hitler was only being obedient to Jesus’ Will. The Bible states that man must have faith, and that comes by hearing the Word of God, but what about babies that do not have that chance to believe? How can God allow so many babies to be born, knowing that they would one day be in hell? Would it be more merciful to just not let them be born? Calvinism can answer these questions, but the end result is God being a monster who is crazy for Glory. Arminians would like to think they have answers, but they have to twist scripture to get their answers. Calvinism’s God could save everyone, but He does not want to do that. He wants billions of people to suffer in hell for His Glory. The Arminian’s God wants to save all people, but He can’t save anyone without their permission. He has to beg and pled you to come to Him. He is not allowed to just save people, He must be given that right. When I compare both of the theologies, I am left with neither one, because they both are full of holes and I am left with a god that is either more ruthless than Hitler or is weaker than a new born kitten. I don’t have to go into all the details about these topics, because you are already aware of them. I know that you are a Seminary Professor and you may have some answers for me, and if you do, that would be great. I just had to be honest about what I was feeling and how I now see Christianity.
Maybe going to seminary was not such a good idea after all. Attending classes there put me in the position to have to think for myself, because I surely could not get a straight answer out any of the professors. If you have answers for me, please fill free to write back.
State: North Carolina
Became a Christian: I was 18 when I became a Christian.
Ceased being a Christian: Left Christianity at the age of 22, not enough yrs, must have never been saved in the first place.
Labels before: Southern Baptist, Calvinist, Sheep, Organic Robot
Labels now: Free, Agnostic, Deist....I'm not sure
Why I joined: God called me out of the darkeness and got saved.
Why I left: I found out God predestined me to hell, now I'm an apostate.
Email Address: jokewm2 at yahoo.com
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)