Exploring Faith and Doubt: A Seeker’s Journey

Exploring Faith and Doubt: A Seeker’s Journey March 4, 2024
image courtesy of the author

 

 

I am not an Atheist, but I have a different understanding of God than when I was growing up. I am more of an Exvangelical. I believe in God, but I am not sure what I believe about God. After years of being sure of my beliefs, I became a seeker again. I seek the God who reconciles my questioning with my belief that much of what I was taught was made up or twisted to fit the narrative the people made.

I don’t believe in an Eternal Hell where people who don’t pray specific words of faith in Jesus get doomed to eternal damnation. I don’t believe in a God who holds me accountable for my eternal salvation based on two people eating the fruit of knowledge, thereby holding all of humankind accountable for the sins of two people.

I do believe in Jesus. Like many prophets, I believe he came to show us the way to heaven here on earth, but I think we made a mess of that.

I believe that Jesus knew his life was in danger for going against the mainstream religious leaders of the day. I don’t think God intended him to save us from God’s wrath for the sins mentioned above.

What Jesus Said

Everything Jesus spoke of showed us how to put ourselves out of the equation and put others first. Whether the woman accused of adultery or the poor man begging for crumbs from the rich man’s table, His words were a warning that we should always put others first. He said, ‘Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend.’ Yet, the religious leaders turned that into penal substitution atonement by saying that Jesus was talking about himself as laying down his own life for others so that we could live.

I want to challenge people to think for themselves. I am not looking for people to argue with, either for or against what I am writing. I am not claiming to be an authority. I believe that Religion damages faith/spirituality. Every religion has many great points, most garnered from the same principles. However, most also have some very hurtful things that are tearing apart the fabric of humanity.

Exclusive Club

Things like exclusion (only Christians /Muslims/etc. will get into heaven); Hate (people of the LGBTQIA+ community are not going to Heaven); Nationalism (ANY nation/or group, such as white racists, being the only true arbiters of Christian values); Xenophobia (another example of exclusion that teaches us that separatism is what will save the world rather than inclusivity).

If you asked what kind of content I want to write, I want to write content that will engage people, saying, “Hey, I don’t believe that, but it kind of makes sense, and I can see where he is coming from.” I want to break the Us vs Them mentality and get people talking civilly with each other again.

Turning The World Around

To succeed as a human race, we must learn about others and embrace our sameness while accepting our differentness. Religion brought us to this point, and understanding religion can help us.  In the words of ABBA Singer Agnetha Faltskog, to Turn the World Around.

I Turn the world around

Change the things that need changing

Don’t try and predict tomorrow

Because tomorrow is out of sight

About Ed Stuteville
Ed Stuteville is the Author of three novels and writes a weekly Substack. He and his wife live in Bradenton, Florida. You can read more about the author here.

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