I prayed my way through the Deconstruction of my Evangelical Christian beliefs.
But what I thought was a Rogue Wave was actually a Tsunami.
The first wave wiped out Historical Adam & Eve and Historical Noah’s Ark & the World Wide Flood and the Historical Tower of Babel. Then the ongoing Tsunami deconstructed the God of Genocide, the God of Homophobia & Repressed Sexuality, the God of Eternal Conscience Torment, the God of Sexism, and the God of Slavery.
Then, just when I thought the worst of the destruction was over I realized the Bible was a very human and imperfect text. And then, finally, the Towering Structure of my Evangelical Christian faith constructed on Highest Ground began to crumble and collapse. I realized the bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead was highly improbable at best.
I still remember posting in my Galileo’s Grotto Facebook group: “I don’t think I am a Christian any more.”
My belief in the Resurrection was the anchor of my faith. Cut loose from a literal Resurrection I was now drifting out into open waters. Disoriented. More than lost. Without direction. Without a course. Without a Destination.
So much of my life was framed by my Christian beliefs, my Christian community, and my Christian spiritual experiences.
What about my LIFETIME of SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES?
Life changing and life shaping experiences.
Eye-Opening, Enlightening experiences.
Peace that Passes Understanding experiences.
Not by Might, Not by Power, but By My Spirit experiences.
Powerful experiences of Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness.
Did losing my Evangelical Christian beliefs mean that my Christian Spiritual experiences were a delusion?
I did what I had often done when I was feeling lost. I prayed.
And God spoke to me.
My agnostic friends might say, “Chris, I was tracking with you but now you are falling back into your delusion and superstition.” I understand some people may think that but maybe it is of some value for me to explain what I mean when I say that “God spoke to me.”
It is not an audible voice. It resembles a thought. Actually, Intuition is a better word. A sudden understanding that comes with a sense of clarity, peace, and conviction. It provides an immediate relief of the internal conflict. Suddenly at peace. I have come to recognize that experience as “The Voice of God”. And, yes, I do realize the grandiosity of that statement.
So what did God “say” to me?
“Chris. Your Beliefs and your Experiences are two different things. Your Experiences are True. Don’t worry so much about your Beliefs. We’ll work those out over time. But your Experiences of My Presence are True.”
I know less about God than I ever have. But I still experience God on a daily basis.
I no longer recite a “To Do List” for God. Change this. Fix that. Move this. Remove that. Give me this. Take that.
I am free from Superstitious Prayer. Free from the neurotic belief that if I do not “Pray about It” God won’t do anything. It is so good to be free from guilt over not giving God a to do list for my life.
My experience of God now is very similar to meditation and mindfulness. At times I set aside 20 or 30 minutes to sit quietly in God’s presence. Other times I experience God through the mindfulness that comes from being Present in This Moment. Being Present is where I experience God. God is in the Now. This Moment. I especially experience God when I am present with my wife and children and when I am present with nature.
I have discovered I do not have to know a much about God to have a powerful experience with God.
I now have a truly Simple Faith.