Born Cynic – Born Again

I was raised in a Grace-Brethren church (non-denominational)
Christianity to me for the first half of my life was (I felt) a legacy. A religion passed down to (and expected of) me. For a while I was fine with that – until I began having serious doubts. I knew I believed (or thought I believed) the things I claimed to – simply because that was what had been spoon fed to me since I was knee high to a duck. I also had little doubt that had I grown up in a Mormon, Catholic, Hindu, etc… Household, I would claim dispassionate allegiance to those beliefs instead.
I was 20 years old and afraid of looking too closely at” Christianity” lest my fears be confirmed – that I would not believe it. That is exactly what happened. I spent three and a half years searching for another “Truth” to explain the questions I had that would not go away.
I studied evolution, (micro and macro) that held the most promising slot for a while, I studied eastern religions, including the popular Islamic beliefs, I studied a lot. I like to study.
I went back to study Christianity since I never really studied its claims, I simply looked at the beliefs at face value and rejected them. I started studying carefully – from almost a reverse-apologetics stand point.
The problem was that in reading the history of the Bible (including extra-biblical – yet historical books or references, including Flavius Josephus) I began to find it difficult to discredit. The Bible – 66 books, written by over 40 human authors, over the course of 1,600 years and yet contains one single and brilliantly recorded message. Additionally, so far in every archaeological discovery and record,(that I have seen so far) the Bible has proven to be accurate. (A couple SMALL examples: In 1993 a 9th century inscription was found at an ancient mound named, “Tel Dan” in Israel. Words carved into some volcanic rock refer to “The House of David” and also “King of Israel” – the first discovery outside of the Bible to mention the monarch that existed. Another: In 1986, the oldest known text of the Bible was translated and verified to not only mirror OT writings – book of Numbers – but it proved to be over 2,600 years old – over 400 years older than Dead Sea scroll findings.)
These examples are given only to accurately communicate the methods I used for checking up on the Bible.
After I could no longer (with a clear conscience) ignore the fact that the Bible was (in my opinion) historically dependable, I gave it a chance and I read it.
Suddenly the “proving” became less and less important, because- I was being changed.
The book was changing how I thought and how I responded to others. I also learned a few things. Like:
“Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see” (Hebrews 11:1)
There is NO absolute proof, that is the point.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is no hope at all, for who hopes for what he already has?” (Romans 8:24)
That is not to say that I worship blindly, I believe that God (though demands faith) also works through reason and structure. I have sought to make prudent efforts to test the reliability of scripture while at the same time, having faith in what is not clear..
I believe BECAUSE I have faith, not because I have proven anything beyond doubt to anyone, no…
I believe because the change in ME could not be denied. And if I am wrong, if all this is smoke and mirrors, then as the Apostle Paul said,
“If we have hoped in Christ in this life ONLY, we are of all men most to be pitied”

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