Imogene. Thank you for your post. I found it inspired and bold. I love the Lord, believe in God, and thank Christ for caring enough to do the ultimate penance for my sins, ahead of time, without qualification and with the ultimate version of parental love. If I think PICC lines, nebulizers, feeding tubes, ports and endless antibiotics are bad, imagine what it was like to be crucified. If I could do these things for my children and save them from it, I would. Christ could, and did. I find inspiration, comfort and challenge in the Word and prayer.
Really I have been in the same place as virtually all these posters and welcome their outspokenness and anger (as long as we dont personally criticize anyone!) Its natural. The thinking man's way to even the Lord is through examination, questioning and searching. So it is with religion. I believe the Greek word for "faith" suggests that you have turned things over, investigated, examined and thought about something endlessly until you are make your discovery. I too was angry at God for imagined cruelties, and thought the concept of God was a crutch for the weak or unintelligent. I was disdainful of the existence of so many religions - who are we to believe? The Catholics, or the Baptists, the Buddhists or the Muslims? Who? After all there is so much disagreement on religious principles, somebody was obviously wrong and it was probably all of them. My journey was long with bouts of atheism, agnosticism, and apathy. And more than enough anger to go around. It turned into a progression I can now clearly see as I aged, became more aware of the world, and experienced more of the horrors as well as the joys of life.
I am decidedly Christian. Catholic to be exact, though I am unconvinced the denomination really matters. In response to our posters, I could tell you about the days following a child's death that brought me to my knees chastising the Lord and his ways and my demand that if God existed I wanted to know now and I wanted to know why! And I can tell you that I was met after days of this with an incredible washing of my brain, my soul, my heart and found when I opened my eyes I was new with the Holy Spirit. Something - someone - I had never believed in or expected. I can tell you how I went through debate after debate with equally skeptical peers, philosophers, and teachers over the years to almost always emerge seemingly victorious in my skepticism and disbelief, thanks to my (God given!) wit and acumen. I can tell you how I was taken aback when I realized not the differences between religions, but the incredible similarities - how could simple folklore and intellectual crutches find their way across the oceans and distances through all of time to emerge with such incredibly similar foundations. And I could tell you more. But none of that is really likely to convince anyone although it may help propel a few on their own journey.
Instead, I would post one challenge. If you are a disbeliever, or uncertain, or just intellectually or emotionally curious, do just one thing and see what you think. Read the Bible. It amazes me how I was able to criticize the Lord and his Ways, to disbelieve and refute for so many years without even reading the central treatise on the issue. Any professor worth their salt would have flunked me! Now I don't mean just open the Book and read a few lines, or even just a chapter, although it will give your soul a boost and some thought. I don't mean to hear you say that you went to Sunday School when you were a kid and you already read a bunch of it somewhere during classroom time. I mean - Read The Bible. It comes in many forms, including plain English translations, to suit your fancy. I will not enter into a discussion of the merits of this version or that here in this post. But do read it from page one to the end. If reading both the Old and New Testament seems like a daunting task, then I suggest you read the New Testament. But do it from beginning to end. All of it. Come on, you've read enough books, novels, posts, and Internet sites to have read the Bibles pages a hundred times. You can do it. A little at a time. A chapter at a time, a page at a time if you prefer. But read it. A little everyday will be easy. I suggest to you that the Bible is more than the sum of its parts. It has a power of its own that you will feel. And you will understand. See if you can do it and still not have "faith".
CF can be your propellant to discover the mysteries of the Universe ahead of those your same age. I wish CF on no one. But it's impact and influence is incredible.