There was a failure with Christianity – either I failed it or it failed me. My problem is three-fold.
First, the language associated with Christianity is so … sticky. Nebulous. Imprecise. Shapeless. Insipid. How you talk about something does matter – the words around ideas shape the ideas just as the ideas shape the words. You can’t have one without the other.
Second, I think the only ethical way to live is to take absolute responsibility for what you’ve done and what the consequences are. If, after that, you are lucky enough to encounter grace and forgiveness in others, you are lucky indeed. If forgiveness is as simple as asking for it, then why would you bother to change your behavior? You can only change what you are responsible for.
Third, modern Christianity is SO far from Christ as to be completely disassociated. Would Christ drive an SUV? Would Christ build a megachurch? Would Christ kill doctors who perform abortions? Would Christ condemn and discriminate against homosexuals? The same man that said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” I’d be more likely to count myself in the same company as the Christians were they nicer people as a whole.
Ok, so Christianity isn’t working for me. What next? I am a Monotheist. I like the common ethical test of the three “of the book” religions: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I like that one of the five things required to be a Muslim is giving to the poor. I like that there is no single authority in Judaism. And having been raised the way I was, I find myself sticking to much of the Kosher rules for eating anyway (no shellfish, no pork). It has a powerful history, and there is something beautiful in the boys with their prayers tethered to their arms. And Christianity has certainly defined my culture, and I do believe in holding on to the compassion that is essential to the accounts of Christ in the world.
Can I be a Jehistlim? Mujeuian? Chrusliew?