08 June, 2014

Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian

Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian:

During my master’s degree program, my plan of going on to do a Ph.D.
gradually dissolved — Exhibit A: me working full time at BuzzFeed, hi! —
but something else materialized: a swelling doubt about the faith I’d
set out to preserve, which hinged almost solely on believing the Bible
to be the literal, inspired word of God. As I learned ancient Greek and
Hebrew and pored over the biblical text in its original languages, and
read it in larger quantities than I’d ever read it at church, its
discrepancies began to shine a hot and uncomfortable spotlight on my
personal religious views. Pieces of the gospels contradicted each other,
I realized. Greek words, like the ones we’ve translated 2,000 years
later to mean “homosexuality,” didn’t quite mean what modern
evangelicals wanted them to mean. Early Christians disagreed up to the
fifth century on which portions of texts should even be in the biblical

More and more, I realized that the Bible was a flawed, messy, deeply human
book — and that in treating it as an unimpeachable guidebook for life
in the 21st century, many conservative Christians were basing their
entire worldviews on a text that, in my opinion, wasn’t that much
different from any other historical collection of letters and stories. I
was forced to confront the fact that I’d converted into a pre-fab
worldview: one hatched largely in recent American history from Jonathan
Edwards and the theology of the Great Awakening, and one that “family
values” politics has buoyed through modern decades.