I grew up Christian and had never questioned my beliefs. While I was still a member of the bible-based cult I joined at age 18, I started reading The One Year Chronological Bible
. It was full of inconsistencies and contradictions that I had never noticed before because they usually aren't directly side by side like that. So while still a member, a couple of years before I left, I started questioning the fundamentalist belief that the bible is inerrant. And because inerrancy was one of our conditions for believing the bible had any religious authority, its obvious 'errancy' eventually made me disbelieve in it completely (like someone else mentioned, a "black or white" reaction). Interestingly, I had no problem reading the bible after leaving -- as long as it was in a different translation than the one used in the cult. In fact I really got a lot out of reading it without being biased by the cult doctrines. But gradually I stopped reading it as I started moving away from my Christian beliefs.
I now know that most Christians don't believe the bible to be inerrant; i.e. they aren't Fundamentalists... but they are still able to be Christians. In fact, here's a very good article I just read about this. [www.huffingtonpost.com
] Ironically, I grew up Presbyterian, and Presbyterians aren't fundamentalists, but that view didn't make sense to me as a child. I always wondered how people could believe "parts" of the bible but not all of it. And that is part of what led me to join the cult.
If the bible's reliability were the only reason I stopped being a Christian after I left the cult, I'd probably change my mind and become a Christian again, now that I understand that one doesn't have to be a fundamentalist to be a Christian. However, so much of what the bible says about God's character really bothers me, to the point that I really no longer want to follow that kind of God, even if he is real and I'll go to hell for not following him. In addition, my religious beliefs are now based on actual experience and what can be observed to be really occurring in the world. For me, this includes plenty of evidence for a spiritual realm, and of a supernatural being or beings which is/are personally involved in people's lives -- ALL people, not just Christians and not just "good" people. My understanding is that the bible indicates that God only loves and cares for certain people based on conditions. However, this
might even be wrong, since I read the bible with cult-colored glasses for so long. But it seems odd that God would be thus involved in taking care of people while they live here on earth, only to damn them to a fiery eternity once they die if they are not Christians. So these are the kinds of issues I deal with when considering the bible's veracity. I try to be objective, but of course I know that my conclusions could easily be biased by my cult experience.
Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2011 09:41PM by Splash90.