I think I get it. I have been reading Internetmonk and blogs linked to him for two years now. It has been hard for me to get through my thick scull the depth of the emotional hurt many suffer from from a legalistic Evangelicalism. Years ago I sought a niche in Christianity. I wanted to belong to some club or group where I could find definition. Fundamental Evangelicalism sounded great! Fundamental? Well of course, who would want to add to what God gave us in the bible? Evangelical? Sure! I love to share what I found.
So, when my friends would ask me when I tried to explain God, “What are you?” I would say I am a Fundamental Evangelical. Keep in mind this was self diagnosed. I attempted to fellowship with those I thought kindred spirits, but found they did not want to fellowship with me. That hurt!
One problem that arose was that I did not think behemoth was a dinosaur, or Job a pre-flood book. Many cultures call an elephant “the beast with two tails” , I mean how many of us say, “Look at the flexible proboscis on that one!” We call it a trunk because elephants store stuff in there. So in discussion group at fundy central when I asked why Job should have the descriptive skills of a veternarian, they got mad.
I was on a fishing trip with a fundamentalist and he told me there was no ice age. I live on a glacial moraine, but more to the point we were on Lake Ontario for this discussion, so I asked how the lake was formed and was told,”By the hand of God”. I believe that, I just think He held a 2 mile high glacier in His hand when He did it. Again I was told I probably wasn’t even saved. He also told me there was no Ice age as the earth was 7000 years old. I have arrow heads almost that old and I live in coal country where fossils abound. Go figure.
Many more examples on request. Then I found out some of the other distinctives of the faith; no beer,[not one] , no R movies, no open-minded theological debates. I was floored. The Holy Spirit had moved me from drunkeness, triple XXX films and bull throwing , but can’t we argue out our thoughts?
Why should my salvation and my ability to witness to others be based on the just one way to interpret the first few chapters of Genisis? Why do people who can’t stand anything at all Catholic use the dating system of The Bishop of Ulster? Spurgeon said what a glory God thought of us millions of years ago, but that is not good enough for some.
I should have known better. When I first became a Christian I remember getting my college student semester sign up sheet back and it was marked Atheist. The thought that I had filled it out that way the previous semester brought tears of repentance. I saw a square to check for religion: Catholic, no, not me, Protestant, no nothing to protest, Jewish, no, but my Savior was, and other. I checked other and wrote in Christian.
It came back Catholic, I sent it back again with that crossed out and Christian written in. It came back this time marked Protestant. I was frustrated. I took the card to the registrar and said,” It is a pretty big outfit the Christians, Perhaps you have heard of them? ” always the wise guy
So I am back to square one Forgive me God for leaving, I will never do it again. I am a Christian. I love my fellowship with a lot of people in the SBC, but that does not define me. Christ defines me. I seek to be more defined by Him every day.
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