I used to follow two “deconversion” blogs (one recently closed, and I simply lost interest in the other). The author of the first blog still considers himself a Christian, but he rejects conservative doctrine in favor of a theology that embraces homosexuality and permits him to interpret Scripture through the grid of personal experience. The other believes she’s on the road to atheism, certain that her reasoning abilities demonstrate the Bible’s fallacies.
Both depend on themselves to determine truth.
Truth, however, relies on objective facts, not personal intuition. For that reason, I cling to the accounts of Christ’s resurrection, which people in the First Century could easily verify. If the disciples had merely fabricated the resurrection, their gospels wouldn’t have mentioned the sealed tomb and the Roman guard. Paul wouldn’t have mentioned the 500 men who saw Jesus after His resurrection. And, as cowardly as these guys were around the time of the crucifixion, it makes no sense to suppose that they would allow themselves to be martyred if they knew they were lying. The evidence for the resurrection quiets all doubt.
From the point of accepting the historical fact of the resurrection, I can then reason that Jesus obviously has to be Who He claimed to be–God Incarnate. Subsequently, all the other points of doctrine fall into place. Thus, my faith is founded on historical evidence, not on my self-contrived ideas, my experience or fluttery feelings I get when I think spiritual thoughts.
Because I still struggle with my sin nature (as Paul did in Romans 7:7-25), I have gone though times of wanting to walk away from Christ. In those times, I understood that He wouldn’t allow me to play with my sin in His holy presence. And in those times, I had to admit that I preferred my sin to fellowship with Him.
And yet, even as I made that admission, I knew I would ultimately run back to Jesus in repentance. Even though I enjoyed my sin, I knew that truth can only come through Him. I always thought of the time during His earthly ministry when the demands of His preaching alienated most of His followers.
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” ~~John 6:66-69 (ESV)
Jesus may not offer the pleasure I crave in this lie, and He may not conform to my intellectual reasoning, but His truth always calls me back. My preferences lose their power, and I bow to His authority. I realize that He determines what I should believe, and that I’d be an idiot to walk away from Him simply to gratify myself.
The “journeys” of the two bloggers I used to read (interesting that they both use the term “journey”) sadden me because they’ve both chosen to measure truth by themselves. Thankfully, God has grounded His truth, not in subjective human feelings, but in historical fact that lends itself to investigation. I pray that these bloggers would set aside their self-worship long enough to examine the evidence and accept the truth.