I haven’t blogged for a while and part of the reason has been because I’ve been wondering if I should write what I’m about write. While what I write (on this blog) is my personal thoughts, however, I think this series is probably going to be the most personal writings I’ve written. I’ve been trying to decide how much I should put up on the internet – how much of where I am do I want to make public?
So one could describe that where am right now as being a crisis of faith. I am now in a place of real conflict in my spiritual/religious walk. I am in the middle of taking a break from going to church. I am questioning the Bible and to say the least, the attitude of some Christians can very discouraging. Notice I said some, not all. I don’t like to generalise, I’m not suggesting that certain Christian behaviours and attitudes are a representation of all Christians everywhere. But at times the things that Christians say or do make me want to cover my ears and eyes. I’m not surprised that people become Atheists or Agnostics. That may shock some readers that someone who considers themselves a Christian would say such a thing. At times I’m shocked myself. If a person had told about seven years ago that I would think such a thing I wouldn’t have believed them. I don’t think I could ever become an Atheist, but I do think there are mistakes in the Bible.
The other night I was listening to the rapper, Angel Haze’s album Dirty Gold. Now Angel is an atheist and isn’t ashamed of expressing her lack of belief in her songs. I admire the authenticity, honesty and passion she puts into her music. I hate singers who make music just to make money, but I greatly admire those who create art that comes from the heart. Angel Haze is one of those people but I felt conflicted listen to her album. The song Black Synagogue starts off as a gospel song and I found myself thinking that maybe those who said she was an atheist were misinformed. But then towards the end the tone of the song changes tone when she expresses her desire for truth and cynicism about the claims in the Bible as being true. Not every song deals with the issue of religion and Black Synagogue is the only one where she tackles Christianity head on. Listening to the album the rapper seems to value authenticity and has a great desire to discover truth. At times I was full of admiration of how she wasn’t afraid of challenging those who believe in Christianity, but after listening to the album I felt a bit down. At times the album gives some encouragement for those who are going tough times, but I the idea that there is no God is rather depressing. I’ve heard some Atheists say that while the idea that God not existing make us feel somewhat hopeless it’s reality. On the album, Angel Haze seems to take a similar view. After listening to her, a first time in a long time, I actually had a great desire to listen to some Christian music. For the last few month, I have been avoiding explicit Christian music. Sure I like to listen to the likes of Johnnyswim or Fleurie – people who have a faith but don’t sing about it in their songs. Also, I follow the likes of Sara Groves and Nichole Nordeman on Spotify since I consider such people to be intelligent artists who write songs about theology in a vulnerable, non-preachy way. But quite honestly I can’t stomach a lot of Christian music. But after giving Hillsong United’s latest realise some consideration I decided to give Sade’s Lover Rocks a listen. It was nice was to hear someone sing about how they won’t abandon another person, it gave me peace.
Sometimes I wish these conflicts weren’t happening inside my mind, sometimes I wish I had no questions at all. It would be so much easier if I couldn’t see any holes in the traditional evangelical narrative of God and the world. I wish I could completely go along with Christian orthodoxy but my mind won’t let me. At the end of the day I want to know what’s true, I became a Christian because I came to the conclusion that the claims made in the Bible were true. If it turns out that it’s not true I’d be wasting my time believing it, on the other hand, if there is a God it would be a waste of time not believing.
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