Faith in the Present, Redux
I received a thoughtful comment to my "Faith in the Present" post from earlier this week. Here is my response, which I repost here in the hopes that others will add to my half-baked thoughts.
Nicholas, thanks for your thoughtful post and kind words. You raise a good question about whether those who reject Christianity do so with a proper understanding of its core tenets. I wonder what proportion fall into the following, not necessarily non-overlapping buckets (in no particular order):
1. I kind of believed in Christianity, when I had nothing else to believe, but then once I grew older and saw there were lots of beliefs out there, I stopped believing in Christianity because I didn't have any real roots in it.
2. I want to believe in Christianity but I am repulsed by what Christians have done and so I cannot subscribe to such a faith.
3. If only I knew the real Christianity, I would believe, but no one has explained it to me or lived it out for me.
4. Truly believing in Christianity would get in the way of what I really want to be about - whether pleasure or independence or ambition - so I cannot honestly say that I am a Christian.
5. Believing in Christianity gets in the way of what I really want to be about - pleasure and independence and ambition - so I'll hedge my bets and say I'm a Christian but not really give myself fully to it.
6. I find the core tenets of Christianity to be backward, outmoded, and false, and so I reject it outright.
7. I have found a superior option for myself.
8. I am too busy or disinterested to examine even the basic aspects of Christianity.
9. I grew up in another faith and have not found any reason to deny it or switch over.
10. I don't know much about Christianity but what I know seems so weird or inane that I won't bother getting anywhere near it.
I'm sure there are other reasons but those were the ones I could think of off the top of my head. For myself and for my kids, the parable of the sower comes to mind: lots of seeds don't bloom, just the ones that fall on good soil. Hence the importance of tending to the soil. In a world full of birds, scorching sun, and rocky roads, would that we help each other be good soil.