I get tired of theology. I don't know. I just want to be. All my life I've been drawn to theology, otherwise known as "the art of ignoring Genesis."
When I was 9 years old I added up how old the earth should be, according to Genesis, and began my path of questioning the existence of God. My dad sat on the edge of my bed, a little stunned as I showed him my faulty math (by my calculations the bible said that the earth was only 2000 year old) and declared that I wasn't sure that I believed in God anymore.
"Well, why would you wonder a thing like that?"
"I don't know... It just doesn't seem to add up."
"Lots of things in life don't add up, Son, but that doesn't mean that you can stop breathing."
I'd say that is probably the best answer the man could have given me. He didn't tell me that I should be ashamed of my doubt. He didn't give me some cockamamie pseudo-scientific explanation that would just be shattered later. He opened the door to a little thing called "Mystery."
But we had just moved from our family into a big scary city and I was really feeling mad a God for moving us, since my dad had moved us to go to seminary...
Honestly, that is what some crap a Christian therapist would tell me. But, I don't think that's really it. I don't think I really ever doubted God. I just doubted the bible and what was taught to me in Sunday School. My whole life I've been plagued with an allergy to closed-off, rigid Christian thinking. When I was twelve I got into a small fight with my Sunday school teacher because I asked him, "Well, isn't the act of asking Jesus to come into your heart kind of a work?... and doesn't the bible say 'By grace you've been saved, through faith, not by works.'" He didn't like where that was going and tried to close that line of questioning. But I wouldn't let up. "And where does it actually say, "ask Jesus into your heart?" He didn't like that question either. And it really made mad that he couldn't answer. He was supposed to know. I mean, he acted like he knew everything.
This kind of doubt poked at me throughout middle school and into high school, even though I remained a goody-two-shoes, however plagued with the normal, constant state of adolescent lust. Come to think of it... what a torturous time. No wonder I felt so guilty all the time. Anyways... enough about that. Ahem.
It wasn't until my freshman year in college that things started to make a little sense. Because when I was 19 I experienced my 30 seconds as an atheist.
I was sitting in my front lawn, looking at the trees and trying to reconcile it all. It just didn't add up. So, I said, "Okay, I don't believe in God." What followed was one of the "realest" feeling moments of my life. It was like a spirit or perspective that had been with my whole life, removed itself from me. Suddenly everything looked heart-breakingly empty, hollow... even sorta scary. I felt empty. The worst emptiness I had ever felt. "I TAKE IT BACK, I TAKE IT BACK... Okay, Lord, then send me a little help, would ya?"
He did. It all came in the well-known book called "Mere Christianity." There hasn't been a book since, besides the Good Book, that has mad a greater impact upon me. And where had that material been my whole life? Why is Mere Christianity such a powerful book to so many? I think because most people grow up being taught bad doctrine by well-meaning but not-so-well-informed Sunday School teachers and Youth Ministers. They grow up hearing things that are just flat out wrong about scripture that come from a minds that are so rigid that one could play ping pong on any side of the brain.
The fact is that many protestants think that all they need to understand the great depth that lies in the Bible is the Bible and the mind that the Good Lord gave them. Well, folks, that ain't true. Just ask David Koresh. Just ask half the preachers in the South during segregation. The fact is, that we can make the Bible say about anything we want it to say and the whole time feeeeeeel like the Holy Spirit is just a' moving right along side us. Anyways... I digress into my critical mode. God bless sundayschool teachers, ever' one. And I mean that. It is a hard and thankless job and if you are a Sunday School teacher reading this and you don't feel qualified to teach, then you are probably just the right man/woman for the job. You are the ones that will most likely do your homework and get many points of view, and lean not on your own understanding.
And THAT is what I'm talking about when I say I like to take a break from it all. I just like to sit back, read a few Psalms, and enjoy the pretty weather. Sometimes I just want to say, and please forgive my irreverence, "Ahhh, dispensationalism vs. Covenant... Calvinism vs. Catholicism (because Armenian doesn't make a lick of sense)... Millenialst vs. Premillinialist ... ..... ..... seriously. Who gives a flying peanut-covered turd?"
I mean, is any of that stuff matter to a woman whose just had the crap beat out of her by her husband? Does any of that matter to a family who just lost their dad and can't pay their bills? Does any of that stuff matter to the young couple who just moved to NYC and got evicted from their apartment within the first 3 months? Does any of that matter to the lillies of the friggin field? Me thinks not.
But, it is my plague to care, and I am drawn to it like Micheal Moore is drawn to Pizza. and like I said, for five minutes or so, every month, I achieve a little Christian Nirvana... I don't care one bit.