As I have begun to open up about my doubts-one of the first questions I get asked is this one….Did the bad experiences you have with the Christian Church influence your decision to stop believing? The short answer is no, not really…let me explain.
My biggest reason for doubting the Christian faith has been my study of the Bible itself, along with a study in Church History and the historical formation of the Christian scriptures that have opened up my wellsprings of suspicion. These are topics that I will be posting on for sure…but I really can’t point out any of my bad church experiences as a major reason for doubting Christianity.
Now, for those who know me well, they are aware that I have certainly encountered some pretty ugly and abusive situations during my time in the church. But I can honestly say that I never viewed these episodes as reasons to disbelieve, I simply thought that there must be a better way to practice Christianity or that they were not “real” Christians.
As I reflect on this, one of my nagging questions is what is a “real” Christian anyway? I have changed my own opinions at least 10 times and the thousands of contradicting church traditions leads me to a big question mark….What is a real Christian? And how do you know your definition of a real Christian is correct?