Life is change. When I was a youngster in kindergarten, I wanted to grow up to be a pizza maker (a dream inspired by my father, who has managed or owned several Domino’s Pizza locations).* A few years later, I wanted to become a naturalist (or even an entomologist), and read countless books on nature… even if the majority were above my head.
Another few years later, because of the movie Stargate, I found interest in Egyptology which grew into a very rich interest in world mythologies, particularly Norse, Greek, & Roman (these three also being the ones that were easiest to find books about at our local library, these being the days before having ready access to the Internet).
Interest in mythology grew into an interest in a wide array of paranormal topics: parapsychology, ufology, witchcraft, and paradoxically enough, Christianity. I have participated in psychic ability tests (which I failed quite thoroughly), I have seen two unidentified flying objects, I have participated in a group spell with a couple of good friends, and I have performed an exorcism with a larger group of friends. I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for anything.
To further add paradox, at the same time as these, I became interested in physics & exotic sciences, for which I largely blame Star Trek. For several years, I fancied myself a future “theoretical astrophysicist,” although I doubt I could have told you exactly what that meant. Surprisingly, the high school counselor had a career profile available for it, so I at least knew how much I’d be making were I to actually pursue it.
But the biggest, most enduring change happened when I fully embraced Christianity a little over nine years ago. I pretty much did whatever was necessary to feel like I was doing right by my understanding of the Bible, including cutting ties with the vast majority of my unbelieving friends, choosing rigid adherence to my convictions over getting along well with my family, and so on.
I’ve softened up significantly over the years — as one would expect after I left behind the “independent, fundamental Baptist” descriptor — and rather than being a “holier than thou” snob, I went down the path of intellectual snob.
I threw myself into the Bible. I challenged everything I heard coming from the cacophonic voices throughout Christendom, and I spent countless hours wrestling in debate with those who would disagree with my conclusions.
Most every debate sharpened my mind, and I was continually learning how to think. (The world would be a vastly different place if more people would take time to learn to think!)
From the standpoint of my Christian faith, I went too far. I progressed to the point that I recognized in myself none of those traits which the Scriptures unequivocally state will be present in believers’ lives.
Perhaps more jarring than that was my failure to recognize those traits in the vast majority of Christendom. And where I do see those traits exhibited, they are nearly always coupled with a very poor understanding of biblical theology; in other words, they have orthopraxy (right living) down, but they have failed to obtain orthodoxy (right belief).
I’ll let the philosophers argue over which is more important — practice or belief — but the fact of the matter is that the Scriptures require & speak highly of both.
So faced with the question of what was wrong with not only me but the majority of Christianity, I came to a rather troubling conclusion: either the biblical testimony is a lie and that if there is one or more deities, he/she/they are not that which is described in the Bible… or I am not one of the elect (and if I am, I am up till now unconverted) and am incapable of exhibiting the traits required of Christians as a result.
Life is change, and this is a big one. I am casting off the mask of Christianity which I have worn for so long, freeing myself from the bondage of what I have come to see is a broken system so that I may be open to simply think, to examine…
I know the arguments for Christianity. I know the apologies & the answers to objections & how to evangelize folks of a variety of beliefs. What I no longer know is what I believe.
KingdomGeek henceforth will be my journey of examination, of discovery. Toward what discovery, I don’t know. Of course, “kingdom” will no longer refer to the “Kingdom of God”; perhaps it now refers to the “kingdom of thought” or “of reason.”
No doubt my audience will change noticeably as time goes on. Still, you’re all invited to join me on this journey. The more the merrier, as they say!
* For a brief period of time, I worked at Domino’s Pizza… the same location that both Mom & Dad worked at, leading to their marriage. I think I only made two or three pizzas during my stint there. Still, other than answering the phone and taking orders, it was an enjoyable experience!