This is the last of a 10-part series that outlines my personal journey away from Evangelicalism. If you are here for the first time I invite you to read the whole thing. To sum it up, I was raised as the son of a missionary and pastor, spent much of my childhood in Tanzania and Kenya, and upon returning to the US had planned to follow in my dad’s footsteps. A series of events over my early adulthood, including meeting actual people I was taught to hate, as well as scandals in the SBC church I attended eventually led me away from both my belief in the supernatural and in the institution of churches.
So the question is, what do I believe? And the answer is, I’m not sure yet. One thing I know for certain: the “God helps those who help themselves”, bootstrappy, capitalist Jesus presented by the majority of American Christians isn’t real. And even if he were, I reject a god that values people based on wealth, or arbitrary standards. I reject the idea of hell, and I reject the idea that the Bible or those who preach in its name are infallible.
Instead of ranting about what I’m against, I’ll tell you what I’m for. That answer is simple: I am for humanity. I’m for humans over religions, over nations, and over corporations. I believe that we are equal.
I believe we all matter, regardless of race, culture, tribe, or gender. I believe that when we as humans put aside our petty differences we can come together to accomplish anything.
I believe people should demand a government that advances the human condition. That we shouldn’t make excuses for our problems and seek to do big things like eliminate poverty and hunger.
I believe in advancing science as the road to attain all knowledge. I believe that nothing is unknowable and what we think of today as supernatural has natural answers we should seek to discover. I believe we should advance our medicine to eliminate the toughest diseases and that we shouldn’t give up because things seem impossible today. We should keep going until we’ve eliminated death itself.
I believe in exploration, that we should work to leave this one backwater rock and find our destiny in the stars. Conversely, I believe in exploring the inner reaches of our own minds, and understanding what drives us to fly to the stars in the first place.
I believe in the study of history, that we should teach our children about our biases and our failings so they can move forward without repeating them. That they can be a bit kinder, and a bit more open than we were.
I believe that Black lives matter, that trans women are women, that trans men are men, that love is love, and that each of us has autonomy over our own bodies. I believe that as a white man, I have been born into undue privilege and that I have many things to unlearn. I believe I have to be a bit better every day. To that end, I believe that deconstruction never ends. It’s a process to keep getting better, little by little. I believe in reconciliation when I make mistakes, admitting when I don’t have the answers, and encouraging others to do the same.
No, I don’t believe in the supernatural. Maybe some divine intelligence set the universe in motion, though I doubt that. Either way, it doesn’t matter now. It’s up to us to make this world a better place. By contrast, Evangelicalism is small and rigid. It leaves change up to an unchanging God. It is the antithesis of human progress.
A shorter post to wrap up, but I think I’ve said my peace. I will take a break from Evangelicalism and Deconstruction for the time being. It won’t go away completely of course but my expectation is to talk more about writing, technology, and cats. As always, if you enjoy my work, I hope you will consider subscribing. Thanks for reading.