Rush of Intellect and Emotion = This

by joanabagano

I have a confession to make. It may be surprising and it may be not and I may have already told you about this but yes, I used to be an atheist. It was one of those years in high school where I couldn’t sift through everything that was being fed to me and so I decided to become an atheist just because it was convenient. No sane person would find my reason legitimate since it’s just brimming with laziness. I couldn’t argue my case quite well since my knowledge of the Bible was really Sunday school basics which were half-baked and honestly, they were stories I believed with less than a whole heart.

Let’s fast forward to today. Presently, I am a Christian. It’s not a very long story, my “return”. I just found my God again, right where I left Him.

For years, I always found it hard to say that “I’m Christian.” The label made me feel I was required to justify, to rationalize, to debate with people. It was never a comforting feeling, however argumentative of a person I am, because I didn’t know much of my faith and I only read what I wanted in the Bible. What made me even more insecure was the fact that I didn’t know at least a handful of the alternatives to the Bible (or any religious book for that matter). Over the years, I’ve read some and more (evolution, etc.) and it’s hard not to deny the fact that the arguments are convincing and compelling.

I find it a struggle not to believe the widely-known point that what the Bible is now, particularly the NIV, is a result of thousands of translations from the original Greek text. Something is always, always lost in transition. I don’t know who the translators were – their backgrounds, intentions, biases, feelings. I don’t know. I have yet to study. There is so much reading to do and I want to learn as soon as I possibly can.

I’m just really really confused right now. I don’t know who to talk to in terms of highly-intellectual religious discourse. I’ve been wanting at least one good conversation since the current President of the Philippines took his oath of office.

The intellect of the Bible is concentrated to a few people while it is actually being offered to everyone. Much as I would like to ignore all of these reasoning and arguing and just settle for dodging questions and saying, “it’s all just a matter of the heart,” no. Seems appealing but no. I am a Christian and I believe that it is for every Christian to know the aspects of his or her religion that are being paid less attention.

A lot of the things being said about Christians is that we claim to be of the faith but don’t actually know where this faith has come from (not just the divine source but the historical as well) and the sad thing is, some won’t even care to know. Truthfully though, when we read our Bible in light of history, anthropology and sociology, it makes it even more alive. Some of us Christians settle for the feel-good parts of the Bible, those that cater to our needs and wants and desires and we forget that it’s really all about a person. I’m not saying it’s all bad to read the Word and feel wonderful where there are wonderful assurances and promises, I’m just saying that Christians today have lost sight of that deeper level of thought that God wants us to have, if He really is God. I am not abandoning my faith just because I can’t find the answers. And I am not forcing anyone to abandon theirs because of the same reason.

We all still have to learn so much about our own belief systems and no one, not even the most intelligent atheist or the most convincing Christian or Moslem, has reached the peak of knowing. Maybe there even is no peak of knowing.

I’m open to voices of affirmation and dissent to the poorly organized train of thought I have above. Maybe you can just ignore the relationships of the thoughts and comment on them individually. I just want to get this mind working because it hasn’t been really thinking for a long time now.