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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Deconstruction At Work

This is a difficult post to write.

It is difficult for a number of reasons. The first reason is that it is a very large issue. The second reason is that this impacts a large part of my life. The third reason is that it impacts the life of my family.

Over the last year or so I have been hanging on to every ounce of faith that I hoped to have. I have been through this before and have been able to bounce back for one reason or another. Many hours have gone into study, prayer, conversation, thought, introspection...etc. This time just seems harder than the rest.

Anyone who read the last few entries in my former blog The Reluctant Disciple has read about many of the issues that I had been struggling with in regard to being a Christian. Things have not really changed at all, in fact I feel like they are even worse. You see, if I only seek answers and comfort from Christian sources then my need for explanation has been somewhat satisfied, but it still seems so incomplete. So then I also find myself trying to look at the other side of things and other questions arise. The Christian sources seem to have conflicting opinions or seem to use intellectual and interpretational gymnastics. The secular sources point out issues that the Christian sources dodge.

Now, I realize that from the Christian perspective that most of what I am dealing with ultimately boils down to an issue of faith. However, I have to echo a friend's statement that the biblical definition of "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen" does not offer much help. My argument is that the "substance" is immaterial and subject to perception, and what is the proof of evidence for something that cannot be seen? If something cannot be seen then how can it be evidenced? Now I understand that there are cases, like with wind, where the wind itself cannot be seen but it can be felt. A weather vain can also be used to track the direction of the wind which can more tangibly confirm its presence.

To make a long story short I have decided that it is just not intellectually allowable for me to call myself a Christian any longer. I do still believe that there is a god out there somewhere, probably, but I do not believe that any of the world religions has done proper justice in capturing what "god" is. Although I don't like labels, I would probably put myself somewhere between either a Theistic Agnostic, or a Deist.

The point to this is not to try and get a dialog going with others. If that happens then we can talk, but the point is that over this last weekend I finally "came out of the closet" about it with my wife, who said that she has had suspicions about it for some time.

Now, my wife and I have never really had what I would consider to be a spiritual aspect to our relationship. Sure we would occasionally pray about things or for people, and we would pray for our meals and both agree to read "Christian" books to our kids and stuff, but when it came to actually discussing our views on various theological issues we were usually in disagreement and that usually felt very difficult for me. It was difficult for me because I felt like we needed to be playing on the same team but we were engaging in different sports. I also felt like it was an urgent matter for me to try and win her over to many of my ideas; and I know that it wasn't in attempts to try and appease my ego or need for affirmation, but because I wanted her to think right. Now that I no longer think the same way I finally feel like the pressure is off but now we have a different set of issues to deal with.

I love my wife and I know that she loves me. She is a good woman who has a lot of character, integrity and dedication. She is a great mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt. She really makes my home life enjoyable. I like to spend time with her.

While we both share very similar points on morality and how to live our lives, the major chasm now for her is the destination of my soul. I can understand what that means because I spent about 15 years there. I often felt the same way.

Issues of faith and religion, or lack thereof, can be very sticky in marriage. I know though, that we are both committed to each other and our children.

I don't know if this is just another swing down the low road for me or if this is a more permanent thing, but it feels like it's more permanent.

15 years ago I would have never imagined being here. 10 years ago still no imagination. 5 years ago I probably put my left foot in, took my left foot out, put my left foot in and shook it all about. But I did the Hokey Pokey and got turned around. Now here I am.

No secret sins. No desire to do this in just following after the lusts of my flesh. Just simply here because of my mind. A mind that decided I needed to explore what was outside of the Matrix.

I may continue posts of this nature over at The Reluctant Disciple but I am going to keep doing this blog along the same vain as it has been to this point.

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Anonymous cooper said...

last night there was a doc about the tibetan book of the dead, also it told how quickly budhism spread throughout asia

May 8, 2007 at 5:15 PM  

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