In brief, before you move on to the articles below, I was a Christian many years ago. Very ardent. I remained so for a long time, probably into my early 40s (I’m 65 now). After doing a lot reading across many different genres, I left the core beliefs of Christianity. I suspect my wife’s long illness, something she is still dealing with today, had a lot to do with that, but it wasn’t the whole of it. If I had to label myself I would say I’m an agnostic.
I know the arguments about why God allows evil, but they ring hollow for me. Throughout the decades of my wife’s illness (and now my son’s) I have always known if I had the power to heal her, I would in a heartbeat, just as if I had the power to stop the abuse and murder of children I would do so in an instant. There’s no use fretting about that, if there is a God this is the world we have and it is how he operates.
My wife would say I am a Christian, despite my inability to accept or affirm some core beliefs of the faith, because my lifestyle indicates that (and yes, I know, many Christians would say I’m going straight to hell). Honestly, as I’ve told some of my friends and my wife and son, it would be easier during the times we are going through to believe as they do, to have the assurance that all this is according to plan and that all things will work together for good. I don’t have that belief any more. I almost envy those who do.
That being said, both the essays below struck a cord with me. I’m not sure what cord. I sometimes think the cord has only been struck because as the world falls apart it’s easier to rely on a being beyond myself, than on myself, my family and friends. It feels almost like an admission of weakness, not strength and fortitude. Maybe that’s not so. I don’t know.
The core belief I do hold on to from I Corinthians 13, which I still believe is probably the greatest thing ever written, is this:
But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.[emphasis mine]
I thoroughly enjoyed both the essays below and I hope you do too.