Many have simply walked away from what they had been taught about ‘God’. I have no recollection of ever doubting the existence of ‘God’, but my understanding (without any formal training) of what that means has changed over the years – sometimes gradually, sometimes quite dramatically! Let’s be honest, haven’t we all been through a phase of questioning the teachings of our own denomination and/or the understanding we had about the God we thought we knew? How many people lived with fear, guilt and shame as a result of what they had been taught about ‘God’? How many had a fear of hell (and maybe the need for a ‘Get Out of Hell Free’ card)?
As a former Anglican I had been taught that the early chapters of Genesis contained a lot of myth and symbolism (and that did and still does ring true for me).
Let’s just say that when our daughter ‘walked away’ from church and people suggested that she had rejected God, my answer was that she had not rejected God, but had only rejected what she had been taught about God.
Towards the end of 2012 I watched a BBC TV series entitled, “A History of the World” by Andrew Marr that had a big impact on my understanding of the world in which we live:
- the earth has existed for about 4½ billion years but civilisation as we know it has been around for no more than 13,500 years.
- consider the ways in which civilisation have been influenced by the many very different religions of the world in what is a relatively short period of time.
Apart from a few computer programming courses in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, formal education for me ended when I was 17. It was in 2013 that I joined the local branch of U3A (University of the Third Age) and subsequently attended some classes on Counselling, Philosophy, Psychology, History of Christianity, History of World Religions, Buddhism and Islam – all of which gave me an entirely new perspective of the place of Christianity (with its many different denominations), and left me with many more questions!
It was in April 2016 that I listened to a lengthy podcast discussion between Rob Bell and Richard Rohr. As I listened to it for the first time I just knew that this was another stepping stone – another personal watershed. They raised so many valid questions. I subsequently wrote “Another Watershed – April 2016” .
“My Story (1995 to 2012)” is an introduction to a very long story describing something of how I eventually came to have that faith in 2012, that I felt I could hold on to ‘loosely’ despite some of the cognitive dissonance I had found along the way.
In “Collecting my Thoughts” there are pointers to just some of the ideas that have influenced my thinking over the years, along with links to topics that I would like to be able to discuss in some detail.
“A Fresh Start – May 2017” is an introduction to some of my current thinking.