Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Bible Made Me Do It (Doubt)

My doubts about my faith came only after I started reading the Bible on my own without the "guidance" of my church to tell me what parts to read. The Christian Bible is a book. It may have even been considered a good book by the standards of the time it was written. But to truly be a Christian, you have to believe that the Bible is "the word of God" or "inspired by God." And if anyone reads the entire book and can tell me that they believe everything in the Bible, then I have to dismiss that person as being illogical and/or ignorant.

To someone living in times that the Bible was written, I can see how they could believe most of the stories of the Bible. After about the year 1700 or so, I could see how they could believe some of the stories of the Bible as being true. But to anyone living in our "age of enlightenment" of science and human knowledge, I just can't see how they could believe any of it as being the "Truth".

Upon reading the Bible, it gave me real doubts about my religious beliefs. I contacted a priest at my local church to help me sort out my "evil thoughts" about the Bible. I told him how the story of Noah's Ark had to be false, talking of taking every species of animal into the Ark with only himself and 5 others to round up, care for, feed, dispose of waste, etc. There are numerous other reasons to disbelieve the story of Noah, some of which I brought up to him (not even taking into account that God destroyed every living human, animal, plant, etc on the planet besides the Ark inhabitants.) He was pretty logical by explaining that most stories of the Bible are parables and not meant to be taken literally (which leads to other issues of doubt in itself.)

I also mentioned some inerrancy and contradictions I noticed during my readings. He shrugged them off as items like "lost in translations" of the Bible, the "human errors" made during writing the Bible, making sure you are following proper context of the verses, and other crap. If anything, these meetings brought my faith into more doubt than before. I assume this priest was not used to defending the Bible. I bet I could have received better explanations from a Jehovah's Witness elder, as I am sure they are on the defensive a lot more and have prepared answers from a checksheet or FAQ they have from The Lighthouse.

Thus, the Bible ended up being the reason I doubt my religion. Ironic, no?

12 comments:

Tommy said...

Ironic?

Not really. A lot of us who became atheists found ourselves having the same doubts when we started reading the Bible frequently.

Have you read "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine. I read it last year, and though Paine writes from the perspective of a Deist, he does a pretty good fisking of the Bible that is probably just as fresh today as it was over two hundred years ago.

Harry Nads said...

I will have to put that one on my list of books I need to read.

I meant that it is ironic how I (and a lot of atheists) got their doubts from reading the book that is the foundation of it's religion. :)

Fiery said...

It is highly ironic Harry that your doubts grew from reading.

I think that is one of the reasons so many churches encourage their members to use devotional books.

Selected passages pulled from their orignal context that sound oh so loving and caring. Read in context one is often left with a feeling of hoping one is on the GOOD side of god rather than the "get out of my way" side.

Tommy said...

Hi Harry.

When we read the Bible as believers, we often have a preconceived notion of what god is and what the Bible is. Then when we actually read the Bible, we find that it does not square with our sense of morality and justice.

For me, that was the first crack in the edifice of my faith. The second was reading similar moral teachings in the texts of other religions, such as the Dhammapadda. It made me think, if there is a god, then it is greater than any religion, and that each of the world's religions only grasped part of the truth.

Sorry, when I typed my remarks last night I was on the tired said. Yes, it is ironic that actually reading the Bible is often the first step towards causing some people to start to lose their faith.

Harry Nads said...

"When we read the Bible as believers, we often have a preconceived notion of what god is and what the Bible is. Then when we actually read the Bible, we find that it does not square with our sense of morality and justice.

I agree. I guess I am morally better than God. :)

Lui said...

In case you haven't done so, I implore you to read Sam Harris's "Letter to a Christian Nation". It's a spear that cuts through all the nonsense that has been erected in defence of Christianity.

Harry Nads said...

Lui,

Welcome to my blog and thanks for the suggestion.

Tommy said...

Hey Lui!

I hope you're not still wasting your time trying to convince Dani that evolution is true. :-)

Kelly said...

Harry,

If you want to understand the Bible than you need to take a much closer look at Jesus. I came to know Him at age 20, and when I read the Bible before that time, (which wasn't much)it made little or no sense. After having received Christ, the light bulb went on, and 18 years later, it's still giving me insight for living! There's power in It's pages, you just have to meet Jesus first. Pride and self-centeredness keep many people from bowing to Christ, so I give you that's not an easy step to take, but it's by far the best one to take.

Kelly

Gabrielle said...

"Doubt [is] the essence of faith, and not faith's opposite."
-- John Irving

If you talk to any Christian, I'm sure you will find that each and every one of us has doubted our faith. Once you delve deeper into the word and let God work in your life, the doubt diminishes. It makes your faith so much better. Like a broken bone, faith is much stronger after it heals from its broken state. You should keep reading the Bible. Within its pages, you will find encouraging words, convicting passages, concrete advice and constant reminders for everyday life.

Juli said...

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Free book titled, "The Last Chronicles of Planet Earth" available at www.dimoraministry.com

Free Online Videos by Mark Biltz at:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=watch+for+the+rapture+amazing&search_type=

It is so important to keep informed...Enjoy the links!

Bit said...

Hi,

You may find interesting, work by John Woodmorappe on the ark. Search on "Noah's Ark Feasibility Study".