It may or may not be a mystery that I grew up in a super conservative Christian environment. Not like rapture evangelicals, more like Mennonites. No was a big thing for us. No caffeine, no cigarettes, no meat, no dancing, no jewelry, no makeup, no premarital sex… It was a long time ago.
I’m not a Christian any more, but I have a friend who is attending a Christian university and is struggling through a class on “the Christian worldview.” I offered to help thinking that somehow having been immersed in the language and concepts for so long, I might be able to translate or something. Instead, it would seem I end up saying “one of my biggest problems with Christianity is…” a lot. Last night, he pointed this out as I was going into another of my frustrations with … well, really any religion that starts with the creation account and the fall of man.
Okay, so we’re made in God’s image. Do we really think this means that God has a nose and requires oxygen to survive? If He’s omnipresent and omnipotent and omniscient, doesn’t that kind of preclude having a body that is tied to time and place? Probably. So if we don’t look like God, what does that leave us? What about Humans is different from all the other animals? The only thing I can come up with is our ability to create. To look at the world and imagine it as other than what it is. To ask questions. To ask why.
So if our ability to ask why and to create intentional change in the world is how God has created us like him, why would the first test of humanity be whether or not we can not ask questions and just obey because we’ve been asked to. Have you ever met a three year old? Seriously, God must not have known us at all if He thought that we’d manage an eternity without ever asking “why not this tree?” It was a question of time.
Already, you’ve got a conflict between the trust God has given us with the ability to think critically and imagine the world as other than what it is and the demand for unquestioning obedience.
We know that, given a choice between the two, Religion is always going to focus on the obedience. The crew I grew up with certainly didn’t like questions. They didn’t like people who thought out of the box. They didn’t want to have to apply logic.
My conclusion? Trust nothing that gets between you and your responsibility to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
That covers the first of equal problems I have with the business. That’s probably enough for one day.