Sunday, February 17, 2013

Facebook Faith #10 - What's Good for the Goose...

Accepting the reality of this picture was one of the key items that drove me from my faith.  I grew up in evangelical environments where ours was the dominate religious influence.  When I moved out to Salt Lake City 9 years ago, I had quite an education in what it was like to be a religious minority.

One of the things that struck me is that Evangelicals out here often rolled their eyes at Mormonism, incredulous that Mormons could "believe all that crazy stuff". Mormon practices, scriptures, and beliefs were often snickered at by my Evangelical friends.

Since I had developed so many friendships with Mormons, I found myself getting defensive on their behalf. I didn't believe Mormon theology, but I was becoming annoyed at the behavior of my Christian friends towards Mormons. Somewhere in that process of annoyance, the groundwork was laid for me to look at my own practices, scriptures, and beliefs... and, low and behold, I started to wonder why I "believed all this crazy stuff".

Reading Bart Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted, I came across the reason why any of us believe "crazy stuff".  When religious people read their scriptures or partake in practices, they are doing so devotionally - they are dedicated to the truth of the scripture and practice from the beginning.  A devotional approach, as opposed to a critical one, allows one to bypass items that would normally challenge our reason.  What usually happens is Religion A wants Religion B to observe Religion B's practices and scripture critically... while Religion A continues to observe its own practices and scripture devotionally.

My faith began to crumble when I saw the inherent hypocrisy of applying critical thinking assessments to the religion of another, while being unwilling to apply them to my own.  Once I began to look at my faith critically... it didn't last long.

1 comment:

Don said...

Ehrman generated that religious critical thinking in me as well. I appreciate his approach as a former evangelical, and now agnostic to the things which I took for granted (devotionally).

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