I Disbelieve, Because I Believe

If you were to ask my family, I think they would agree that I have spent a large amount of my time fighting against what I have heard. After some very troubling experiences with the Church and witnessing some very violent acts (among them seeing someone murdered), around the age of fourteen I had some semi-conscious choice to find the meaning of life. At a very young age I had my worldview shattered and I know that the answers that I was being fed by the Church and the world were not all good. I had this deep intuitive sense that if it isn’t true for everyone, then it isn’t true for anyone.

I have spent much time over the past decade in doubting and seeking. I think that I disbelieve so much, because I believe. I have found in my life that hope isn’t true hope until you have experienced true hopelessness. There is no need for hope until you are hopeless. (Maybe this is why I hold so much hope for my generation. We’re the generation of these hopeless times.) I am convinced that there is no worth in any of our beliefs until they’re cracked open and thrown in the fire. Until we learn to doubt and question our beliefs, we will never truly be conscious of what the belief produces. There has been a lot of evil done in the name of God because the powers of the Church have gone unquestioned and undoubted. Much of the Church (because this is how the world works) has learned only how to manage their lives. They believe in sin management. They believe in trying to destroy their own sin. I am convinced that this mindset will never reveal a Christ who truly liberates others by his death and resurrection.

Until we are exposed to the darkness of our own lives, until we are exposed to the darkness of the Church (religion), until we are exposed to the darkness of the earth, we will never see the light. We must learn to see the shadows of our lives because of the darkness that follows us. We must learn to disbelieve, so we can truly believe. We must die to who we are, so we can become who we truly are… Children of light.

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4 thoughts on “I Disbelieve, Because I Believe

  1. mrgrahamwellington says:

    During a dialog with some Mormon missionaries the subject of the Problem of Evil came up. Weakly holding to a doctrine of predestination, they explained to me that God had to inflict pain as he has done in order that we might be able to experience joy.

    I am sure you know what I mean when I say that certain subjects are more sensitive for me. The idea that good is inherently dependant on evil is one such sensitivity for me. I have to wonder if it is actually our (my) own myopia precluding me from realizing the joy that I am, presently, experiencing; that hindsight within the misery to come will have the wisdom and experience to perceive a bit better what joy truly is.

    If this is true, it represents not only a brilliance in God’s ability to bring from the depths of brokenness some kind of good, but the brilliance of choice. When we find ourselves fully aware of the two extremes we are presented with an opportunity to see and know the truth of the nature of good and evil. We are presented with an opportunity to learn — to know the joy we have even now.

    Interesting post. I’ll be thinking about it.

    • Mike Friesen says:

      Good thoughts Graham,
      I am with you that God uses good for evil (and doesn’t intend pain just to bring good). That’s like saying God caused the Holocaust so we could reflect upon the writings of Etty Hillesum and Anne Frank. I don’t think God is a God who disposes of anything, as Richard Rohr would say, “Everything belongs.” And, I think something that Etty Hillesum would agree with what you are saying, “To exclude death is to live an unfulfilled life.”

      For me, issues of nationalism, violence, and greed are infiltrated through our culture and into our church and never go unquestioned.

  2. Geoff says:

    Great words Mike.

  3. […] Christianity for the rest of us: A short, but honest, account of being hurt in church […]

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