I am not who they think I am…

So for the first time in my life, someone asked me a question that began, “As a non-Christian, do you…”

This may not be odd to you, but since my Christianity has been a vital, if not supremely influential influence on my entire life, development, identity, and choices, having someone essentially confirm what I’ve been wondering is a bit unnerving. I don’t want to say I’ve deconverted. I really want to avoid it. What if this is a “phase”? I wouldn’t want to say I was one thing and then pull an “Oops, just kidding!”

Most of all, I don’t want to tell the people who still think “that’s Julia, she’s a Christian” that I’m not so sure any more.

I’ve never had this crisis before. I always knew and I always felt like that knowing was impossible to change.

I still have a Christian worldview. I still know the Bible better than any other book. I am still interested in theology and doctrine. I still think Jesus/God makes a powerful, life-changing impact on people’s lives. In fact, I still love God as I understand it and Jesus as I understand him. But… I don’t know if I’m Christian anymore. I don’t care for the religion, even if I care for the principals at its core (love! all should be love!). But the religion is not that simple, no matter how many different pithy ways people explain it. I know this. I’ve been one as long as I can recall.

Clearly, I’m struggling with this. I’m struggling with the idea that a core identifier of my life might be gone. I’m struggling with the fear that I might lose the respect and love of those who respect and love “Christian Julia”. It’s like I think people won’t take my view seriously now, simply because I am not an orthodox believer. Like suddenly my insight and knowledge doesn’t matter anymore…. I haven’t felt like an outsider before. In simple terms, I feel demoted.

And you all might remember how scared I am of my family’s expectations. They have a picture of me in their heads… and they have no idea how far off they are. But they love that picture, and they support it and admire it. They know how to treat it.

But that’s not me! Who am I now?

I’m afraid.

Without Adam and Eve

Without Adam and Eve and the Creation myth, what would probably be different about Christian theology, doctrine, and beliefs?

Some things that come to mind for me are:

1) Original Sin. Without this story, how would we come to think that a sin nature passes through generational lines? Or that there was ‘original sin’ at all?

1a) …thus, infant baptism would probably not be taught/understood/practiced.

2) What would be our reasons for Jesus having to die for us if we didn’t have the “first Adam” story and its lessons?

3) Marriage. Would we just be missing one argument about “man and woman only” or would a larger definition of marriage change?

4) Satan: what would our beliefs about evil be like?

5) Would we really understand sin? How would our theology on sin look without it?

Basically, I’m really curious about how much we derive from a story, a myth. when I really get thinking about it, so much of Christian theology and doctrine has been formed out of this tale.

hmm… thoughts?

Religion vs. Relationship(s)

If you enjoy long religious rants with a hefty dose of confusion, come on down! I’m full of them today.

One of the popular Christian aphorisms I’ve used in my past life—and keep hearing over and over again—goes something like this:

It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship.

This is commonly understood as meaning: being a Christian is not about traditions and habits and doctrines and rules and so forth. It is about having a personal relationship with Jesus (including God here as well), like a friend, lover, or father. In fact, I bet if you go out and ask your typical North American Protestant Christian what they say on the topic, they will probably verbalize it almost exactly that way. It is incredibly common, and I haven’t heard many negative reactions to the statement.

I’d like to suggest a different take on the subject.

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