One of the issues that got me thinking about how ridiculous religion is, was theology. Here we have thousands of denominations representing about a billion people getting all dogmatic on various topics, never agreeing with each other, but basing it all on the exact same texts. Men have burned other men at the stake over interpretations of a verse of the Bible. We can’t do that anymore, but they kill and maim them with their words now.
Theology is Not a Thing
I was talking to an old friend the other day that agreed that under a theocracy burning at the stake for heresy would still be morally acceptable. He defended Calvin’s Geneva for burning Servetus at the stake for not believing in the Trinity. Which is a ridiculous thing to believe anyway. That poor man was burned alive for following his conscience and refusing to believe in absurdity. My friend also said that slavery, again under Biblical rules and regulations, was still permissible.
During my own journey when I confronted all of these people about why they disagree the invariable answer I got was they were led by the Holy Spirit but the others were led astray by Satan. But they all said this. Every group I was part of (and I was part of many diverse Christian groups in my search for the One True Church) believed they had been properly instructed by the Holy Spirit while the others were led astray by error and worldly lust and disobedience. When I would go to my brothers with this problem the response I got always went a little like this: “Our church is the true one church and it’s obvious. Just look at this Bible verse here and here.” If I continued to press this problem and show the crack in their theology some of them got silent. Some got angry. One even told me that if I was not careful that my inquisitive spirit would lead me into unbelief. I guess he was right. But at the time I was still convinced Christianity was true, I just hadn’t found the original version yet, since man had corrupted and changed it so much over 2000 years.
If Christianity is the Truth above all truths then why isn’t it clear which of the competing Christianities is the true one. As one who was sincerely seeking for the truth I found this confusing. I physically suffered from the cognitive dissonance this created for years. I got brief moments of reprieve as I found another new sect that I thought was the Truth I sought. But then my mind began questioning again. I began, almost against my own will, to look for the cracks in the system. This was not because I wanted to destroy it, it’s because I had been told Christianity was perfect. Literally perfect. I accepted this and believed that the One True Church would have no cracks in its theology. I never found the One True Church…
It slowly began to dawn on me as I searched most of the major Protestant denominations, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Early Church that there was no definitive edition. That they all used the same circular arguments. That all of them were just based on what this guy said that this guy said that this guy wrote in a book 2000 years ago. It truly was faith alone. But not faith in a verifiable truth. It was faith in a subjective interpretation of the past. One that was prone to human error and misunderstanding. Yet the promise was that the faith was perfect, that the Church was being led by the Holy Spirit. Yet everything I had searched into showed me otherwise. I became convinced and still am that the Church and the Bible are just two more examples of human ingenuity and the mystery of human existence. I see nothing supernatural in either anymore. They’re human, oh so human.