After a final straw with a said ‘Christian’, it dawned on me; my whole life I’ve been taught that God is real; been told that heaven is where the goodies go and hell is for those who choose not to believe in God or who really love free central heating; that children dying, weather disasters and the unexplainable are just God’s will (ours is not to question why).
During my time at university I became less than luke warm. Post bursting out of a Catholic school and Pentecostal home bubble, I really, really realised that not everyone was raised a Christian; that some who don’t believe in God, still live happy lives and don’t have the constant guilt and fear of hell as I.
I wanted a life of that kind…and so I left God. Now accountable for my own achievements and mistakes, I felt in control and for once I was not sorry.
Of course to be on the safe side I admitted his existence. I occasionally went to church and ‘defended his honour’ when someone went too far, just in case.
Cut to moving back to London: My relationship with God was some roller coaster. To me he existed when I wanted him to.
I decided that before completely renouncing him, I’d do a bit of research into the life of Jesus and whatnot. I watched Mark Driscoll, listened to gospel music, had frequent contact with christian friends and occasionally watched a film.
I hardly ever picked up a bible! I know! How stupid! A bible-believing-but-not-believing-christian-non-christian. As ridiculous as this notion sounds, I’m beginning to realise this is not uncommon.
So many of us are quick to plunge into religious debate without thinking. We assume because we went to Sunday school, back packed through Asia, bought an iPad or subscribed to the Wright Stuff Youtube Channel, we can make sound judgements on who God is and those who worship him without connecting to the word.
You wouldn’t walk into an exam without revising and expect to get 100%. You wouldn’t waltzed onto a crime scene and expect to know who did it straight away. So why would you assume you know all about God and those who follow him without ever reading the bible?
I decided that I was not going to be one of those people. Not only because they tend to have very slapable faces, but because now more than ever I want my decisions to be made whole heartedly and with sound mind.
Hence why I have decided to go back to the very beginning . Yesterday afternoon I locked myself away and read the book of Genesis.
People! If you’re looking to write an intense family drama, I suggest you read it too! I was amazed by all that I’d missed, intrigued by new discoveries and impressed by how smart I felt post reading a book with no pictures!
The spiritual context makes so much sense when you understand the cultural and historical. By reading the story of Adam and Eve, I realised that those who blame women for the fall of man are completely misguided. Through the story of Abraham, I came to discover how the Christian and Islamic views came to be. Through the story of Joseph, I understood how Egypt became a mighty dynasty!
There are however a few questions that need answering so feel free to comment if you know them:
Genesis 1 vs 29 and Genesis 9 vs 3&4: God says the herbs and the trees should be our meat. Does that mean we were supposed to be vegetarian before the fall?
Genesis 8 vs 21 and Genesis 9 12-17: God promised he would never again ‘curse the ground any more for man’s sake.’ The rainbow was and is a symbol of his covenant. If he has kept his promise, how does one explain the natural disasters that have taken place over the centuries?
Genesis 16 vs 12: God prophesied that Esau would be ‘a wild man; his hand would be against every man and every mans hand against him…’ Why did God allow him to be if he was going to affect those around him in such a way?
Genesis 21 vs 17-21: Why did God allow Ismael to rule over many nations and father islam if there is only supposed to be ‘one true religion?’
Genesis 27 vs 9: When and why did meat suddenly become an acceptable thing to eat?
Genesis 27 vs 39-41: To what extent did Isaac’s blessing have over the future of the people and why could it not be reversed if it was given to the wrong son?
Genesis 49 vs 3-28: It was beautiful reading how the twelve tribes of Israel came about. How do the personalities of the brothers impact the tribes and what relevance dot their personas hold if any?
For those who like me rush to comment on what they don’t know, I encourage you to ask yourself why you do this. I’d assume at this stage I’ve offended many of you (namely the ‘said Christian’) but, I hope the offence leads to reflection, leads to stimulating conversation.
Until Exodus people!