I was the centre of attention for quite a while on Monday night and dealt with it far better than I would have even a year ago I think. After Hillsong
happening a couple of weeks back the R18 leaders are already thinking about next year and the possibility of other people going with them. I was asked if I was likely to go and after saying no was asked why. There was three main reasons for me to not want to go (1. I don't like to travel, 2. I won't have the money and 3. I'm not a Christian) and upon hearing the third a discussion was started about why
I'm not a Christian even though I do attend church twice most Sundays, attend the R18 things (R18 is basically a study group for young adults) and have mostly Christian friends.
pointed out during the discussion I'm better able to explain myself in writing than spoken words and so I'm going to try and sort things out here.
From a strictly literal viewpoint what I believe means that I should be a Christian. I consider evolution to be man's best attempt at denying the existence of God, regardless of the flaws inherent in the theory. The Big Bang seems to me to be patent nonsense, nothing cannot create something out of nothing, and "cause and effect" would need to be considered regarding how time and space got started if our universe is all there is. I'm also unwilling to discount the spiritual side of life that many people (Christians and others) claim to have experienced, whether once or many times.
If God is responsible for the creation of the Universe, planet Earth and all of us mortal beings, the start of creation issues that I just mentioned become non-issues. Cause and effect aren't relevant to the start of everything we know as He exists outside of it and "cause and effect" are the result of His creation, not necessary to its existence.
The biggest single factor in why I'm not a Christian is, to me at least, the fact that I've never felt His presence. In the nearly nine years since I first started doing "church" things I have never heard a voice telling me that I should do one particular thing over all the other possibilities. I have never felt that I was being led to do anything specific. I have gradually become a better adjusted person but that can be attributed more to the fact that by doing church things I was also associating with people on a semi-regular basis and therefore needing to adapt or go home. I am for example more willing to talk to people I don't know although I'll still normally just sit at the back or to one side and listen, even with people I do know.
Something I expect most of my current circle of friends won't be aware of is the fact that I spent two years thinking I was a Christian. After I started going to church before I finished high school I "gave my life to God" and carried on my merry way. The only thing in my life that changed noticeably after that "conversion" was the fact I applied to the Navy intending to become an Electronics Technician. Everything else, from my interactions with friends, teachers and my parents, through to my scholastic habits didn't change in the slightest. I realise that becoming a Christian isn't guaranteed to change a person dramatically instantly, but after two years of me being the same person I realised that I hadn't
changed and my conversion was a delusion I'd had.
That really doesn't seem to explain anything well. After coming back to it all through the day however I expect it is the best I'm likely to manage without specific questions to answer and I don't remember any from the discussion that eventuated. I'll try and answer questions and explain my viewpoint if anyone cares enough to comment on this post, otherwise it will likely fade away into obscurity.